If you were a Juventus fan, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little glum in recent weeks with the exit of central defender Leonardo Bonucci to A.C. Milan.
A genuine Italian world-class star, leaving for an archrival is always going to be a bitter pill to swallow.
But the blow has been softened somewhat with the arrival of young star Federico Bernardeschi from Fiorentina, with a transfer fee set to be confirmed. The winger had his medical with the Bianconeri on Monday July 24th.
Like Roberto Baggio before him, Bernardeschi swaps Florence for Turin in a move that is more remarkable given the rivalry and bad blood over the Baggio move back in 1990.
La Viola would’ve preferred a move abroad for their young star, but like so many Italians of promise, the winger has opted to stay in Italy.
Serie A is not really known for out-and-out wingers, or playing with width in general. The 23 year old provides just that.
He is left footed and has played predominantly on the left wing for Fiorentina, but he can also play on the right or even as an additional striker.
He likes to take people on, show his pace and at over six foot tall he has decent height, not to mention a lot of strength on the ball.
Creator and goal-getter
Bernardeschi’s statistics last season show a player who can both score and create. He bagged 13 goals in all competitions and made 7 assists.
Such are his varied assets, it’s no surprise that some Premier League teams were interested in him, such as Chelsea and Manchester United.
In fact, in style and stature, Federico is not too unlike Croatian winger Ivan Perisic, who still looks set to eventually join the Red Devils this summer.
At 23 years old and already an international, he is at the right age to join Serie A’s leading club, and any future transfer is likely to yield a healthy resale value too.
He is what Juve need
You could argue that more wide attacking options is what Juventus really need.
Although imperious at the back last season, they eventually came unstuck when Real Madrid’s superior firepower overwhelmed them in the Champions League final in May.
And with Douglas Costa’s loan move from Bayern, the Old Lady have a little more pace going forward to compliment Paulo Dybala’s ingenuity down the middle.
One Italian hero for another
This attacking threat may be required, as in defense; there will inevitably be a Bonucci-sized void.
They’ve also lost an expansive full back in Dani Alves (PSG bound) and Kingsley Coman has now made his deal with Bayern Munich permanent.
However, Juventus so this summer have replaced one Italian hero with potentially another. And the transfer window is nowhere near closing.
Written by Nicholas Behan
Follow Nicholas on Twitter @NicholasBehan
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