It was no surprise that Juventus fans were more than overjoyed with the signing of Federico Bernardeschi last summer. The 23-year-old is the absolute foreseeable future of Juventus. He has already proven an incredible amount in his career thus far.
Federico had 11 goals last season for Fiorentina, playing as their main man. He had secured 72 appearances for the former club and has most definitely proven his capabilities on the pitch.
Upon his arrival in Turin, Federico was offered the sacred 10, but rejected it for 33, claiming that he has to “earn 10,” before accepting such a big responsibility. In that current role is teammate Paulo Dybala, but with the alleged transfer rumours to teams such as Manchester United and Real Madrid, Bernardeschi might be once again offered the 10 sooner than he’d expected.
In the games that Bernardeschi has played, his form on and off the ball has been superb. No matter who he is placed on the pitch with, he finds a way to adapt, whether he be put in the middle or off to the right. People were surprised to see that he prefers to play on the right while being left footed, as opposed to playing in the middle. Some seemed to call it rather strange, but this definitely isn’t a bad thing. This only means that we get to see him cut in more and issue that tremendous strike we all love to see.
While still being used as a bench option, alongside Douglas Costa, he understands his role at Juventus, “I’m playing for the most decorated club in Italy, and it’s normal that a youngster like me has to develop, mature, and learn.” At only 23 years of age, he has been more than respectful to the Bianconeri, as he is finally living his dream.
Before his transfer move to Juventus, both Chelsea and Manchester United wanted the young attacker. The Bianconeri got their wish when signing Federico, as he would accommodate Allegri’s 4-2-3-1, and be a major part of Juve’s future.
We don’t get to see a lot of Bernardeschi in the lineup each week, with many players fighting for the same position. As Allegri prefers Mario Mandzukic on the left, this leaves three players gunning for the right. Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa, and Federico Bernardeschi all switch, and with Max having preference of Cuadrado, we rarely ever see the likes of Costa or Bernardeschi, especially not together.
Both Bernardeschi and Costa display a wide range of talents and, when used together, as we saw against Cagliari, we are able to see an impressionable attacking force. In the 74th minute of the match against Cagliari, Bernardeschi, replacing injured Paulo Dybala in the middle of the pitch, was able to tap home a superb pass from wide man Douglas Costa.
From only the four goals and two assists brought to us by Federico this season, it is proven that Allegri doesn’t use the 23-year-old enough. Averaging playing time of only 30 minutes (yes, that’s it), it has created frustration among the Bianconeri supporters.
There is no opinion that suggests Bernardeschi should be replacing Paulo Dybala, but that he should, at the least, be the starter on the right over Cuadrado. Juan is simply one of the most frustrating players to watch, with his hot and cold performances we never know who we’ll get. He should be used as the bench option, coming in to secure the win for the Old Lady, putting him into the game in the 65th or 70th minute, replacing either Federico or Douglas. By the time Max decides to bring Bernardeschi onto the pitch, it is too little time for him to make an impact. However, in the little that he did play against Olympiacos during the Champions League, we saw two shots and a goal from the youngster, which was pretty damn impressive.
Federico Bernardeschi has excellent vision, is hard working, and tracks back well, which I believe has vastly improved since his first start at Juventus. He is arguable the most promising young Italian talent. His pace, technicality, and left foot creates something magnificent for the Bianconeri, which definitely needs to be used more.
As the hopeful future for the Old Lady, he appreciates the clubs winning mentality, “I just need to be patient and keep learning. Juve don’t ask you to defend, Juventus asks you for everything because you need everything to win.” Bernardeschi is calm and patient on and off the pitch. The passion that he displays for, not only football but, Juventus is an incredible display of the love he has for the game. There are high hopes and expectations for him, as he progresses to mature. If he continues playing the same that he has been, there is no doubt we will see him in the starting 11 very soon, and maybe even as our number 10.
By: Julia Villa
Photo: Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages