Federico Bernardeschi made a big money move to ‘the Old Lady’ this past summer after three brilliant seasons with the Viola. However, the 23 year old has been given limited playing time despite his high price tag, which deems the question: Did his move to Juventus come too soon?
Throughout his young career, Federico Bernardeschi has proven to be a player who can lineup at multiple positions across the front line. Primarily deployed as a right winger or right midfielder, he is also a capable trequartista. His skill on the ball and heavy shot makes him a threat whenever he is in possession, and during his time at Fiorentina, we saw him score stunning strikes with his brilliant left foot, while also creating opportunities with his pace in wide positions.
Scoring 14 goals in 72 appearances for the club, Bernardeschi drew interest from top teams across the Serie A and Europe this past summer, but it was Juventus ultimately winning the race for 23 year old.
Since making his big move, Bernardeschi has had trouble gaining minutes under Max Allegri so far this season, with the likes of Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, and Juan Cuadrado ahead of him on the depth chart. It can be argued that players such as Mandzukic and Cuadrado are more familiar with Allegri’s system, but despite this, Bernardeschi cost Juventus 40 million Euro this past summer, and it is surprising to see such a talent gain minimal minutes.
The Italian had to wait till October 1 to make his first start where he scored his first goal for the club and assisted Gonzalo Higuain’s tying goal as well. Mostly used as substitute, he has had limited chances to show his skill with his new club.
We have seen promising young Italian talent in the past make moves to big clubs in Serie A in their early 20’s after successful seasons with mid table clubs such as Fiorentina, Atalanta, Udinese, etc. A perfect example is Bernardeschi’s Juventus teammate Daniele Rugani who has not looked the same ever since his move from Empoli a few seasons ago.
With the increasing amount of foreign talent in Serie A, young talents like Bernardeschi are not getting the minutes they should when they move to the big clubs in Serie A. Having only been given three starts so far this season, Bernardeschi has been used primarily as a bench option for Max Allegri, his talent however clearly shows he is anything but. It can be argued that a few more seasons at Fiorentina would have guided his development and increase his confidence even further. Like many young Italians before him, Bernardeschi has arrived to a big club and has not been given the confidence to play a full 90 minutes.
As a potential future leader for the national team who needs playing time, it can be argued that Bernardeshi made his move to Juventus a few years too soon. But, having said that, an injury to one of Juve’s main men in the attack or a slippage in form from them could open the door for Tuscan youngster to prove he was ready for this stage in Turin.