As Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa (£4.06) was substituted in the 36th minute of his side’s match with Lazio last Sunday evening, tears streamed down his face. Reports suggest that the 21-year-old suffered a muscular abdominal problem, and his upset so very clearly showed exactly how much he is enjoying his football at the moment.
“Federico is a lad who puts such heart and passion into his work for this team,” his Coach Stefano Pioli told reporters from Sky Italia after the final whistle. “Everyone here gives heart and soul for the club and that is wonderful to see.”
The English commentary on the match suggested that his tears may be a result of potentially missing Italy’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Finland and Lichtenstein. Yet in all likelihood, this was just a young man who is enjoying his football and blossoming into the kind of player that inevitably puts the transfer rumour mill into overdrive.
Indeed, Chiesa has been linked with interest from the likes of Juventus, Inter, plus Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and now Tottenham Hotspur.
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There is no doubt that the youngster – son of former Italian international striker Federico Chiesa – has the potential to make such a high-value move away from Florence, but it’s important to note the factors that may keep him there a little while longer.
Chiesa has struggled with making the right decisions on the pitch, in terms of knowing when to shoot, when to pass, and when to cross. Determined and tenacious, he has definitely improved on this of late, but is by no means the finished product yet.
“Working hard has paid off for me,” the youngster admitted to Undici magazine recently. “It is the push that has led me to reach Serie A, and that now spurs me on to improve every Sunday. It’s the same attitude as Cristiano Ronaldo (£6.97). He doesn’t have the talent of [Lionel] Messi (£15.29), but has won the same number of Ballon d’Or trophies. An exemplary professional like him proves if you want to reach the top and stay there, focusing on every tiny detail is crucial.”
Those details have included his father’s decision to place him in the Fiorentina youth system at the age of ten, and now he has done the same with his younger brother Lorenzo. As a player, Enrico had featured for Sampdoria, Parma and Lazio as well as Fiorentina, but a life in Florence at the latter club has been a clear choice for the whole family.
Federico is a player and a person who wears his emotions on the outside. He simply cannot hide his delight in playing well for Fiorentina, as has been clearly demonstrated in the last few weeks. His best game to date was a Coppa Italia quarter-final with AS Roma in which the Viola pulled off a shock 7-1 victory, thanks in large part to a hat-trick and a sublime performance for Chiesa.
The latest news coming out of Florence states that the Chiesa family would be happy for the young player to sign an improved deal to remain at the club at least in the short term, in order that he continue to develop and grow in the ideal environment for him.
Of course, that does not rule out a transfer should the conditions be right for all concerned, but the circumstances quite clearly indicate that his exit this summer is by no means a done deal.