Federico Chiesa is one of several 2nd generation players currently thriving at smaller clubs in Serie A – including the likes of Giovanni Simeone and Federico Di Francesco.
Beginning his Fiorentina career at the age of 10, Chiesa 2.0 was not perceived to be the second coming of his father, Enrico. With a smaller build than his fellow Viola teammates, Federico was often sent down to train with younger players. This trend would continue to follow Federico throughout his ascension up the junior ranks – playing sparingly as he was moved back and forth from center forward to central midfielder.
It wasn’t until Fiorentina youth coach Federico Guidi moved the junior Chiesa to the wing in a 4-3-3 formation, that the player was able to express his best qualities. Blessed with exceptional speed, touch and a willingness to fight to win back possession of the ball, it wasn’t long until the senior team took notice. Making his senior team debut at 18, against Juventus, no less, Chiesa made a lasting impression in just 45 minutes of action in a losing effort in Turin.
Chiesa’s development has continued steadily from that point on, with the player earning several caps for the Italy U-21 squad, in addition to a recent call up in May to the senior squad for a friendly versus San Marino. This trend has continued into the current season, with the young Chiesa already striking twice for the Viola, including an absolute cracker of a goal from just outside the box versus Atalanta. However, with such success comes the inevitable interest of bigger clubs. For example, rumors have already surfaced that Liverpool has shown an interest in the young Italian winger.
With Fiorentina’s buying power no longer what it once was, it is perhaps only a matter of time before they are forced to cash in on their newest star, just as they did this past summer with the sale of Federico Bernadeschi to Juventus. Chiesa should perhaps take note of how this move has stalled his former teammate’s development, with Bernadeschi playing very sparingly thus far for the Italian champions. However, this isn’t to say that a move abroad would offer any more guarantees. One needn’t wander too far into the past to find evidence of once-promising Italian talents that have seen their careers flourish early, only to see their growth stunted following big-money moves to more prestigious clubs – Federico Macheda and Ciro Immobile, to name a few. In fact, it wasn’t until the latter moved back to Italy that he was able to get his career back on track – to the extent that he is now a candidate to be capocannoniere.
Ultimately, though the temptation to join a bigger club is one that many have succumbed to in the past, to his credit, Chiesa seems determined to remain with the Viola for the foreseeable future and beyond. Arguably, having seen how such a move has undermined the careers of even the most promising talents, this would appear to be a very astute calculation by the young Italian. A player cannot grow without the necessary playing time and experience against top-class talents, nor can he expect to learn the nuances of tactical positioning without stepping onto the pitch. To this end, Chiesa’s interests are better served at a club like Fiorentina, where playing time is a virtual certitude.
At 19 years of age, Chiesa will have more than enough opportunities to make a jump to a bigger squad when his is ready, both physically and mentally. Until that day, Chiesa can remain calm and confident, safe in the fact that he’s plying his trade in his home country, and in front of the same fans that have seen him grow from an under-sized 10 year old to a promising International player that has forced the biggest clubs in Europe to come knocking.