It says a lot about Federico Chiesa’s performance on Tuesday night that I had to go and check he actually played against Chelsea.
With only 25 touches, the 24-year-old winger barely troubled Thomas Tuchel’s imperious backline before being replaced by Max Allegri in the second half.
It is unfair to fully cast aspersions on the forward’s overall ability based on a night where few teams could have lived with Chelsea’s incredible performance, being the first club to put four past Juventus in the Champions League.
It was of course Chiesa who proved the difference back in September when Chelsea lost 1-0 in Turin.
Anyone who has watched Chiesa over the past year can appreciate his devastating talent, in particular for Italy in the summer with his blistering speed causing defences nightmares and an eye for an immaculate finish.
These are all traits that have made him a standout European talent and why in 2022 some of Europe’s biggest hitters will come calling for his services, looking to pry him away from a Juventus outfit that is maybe not as alluring as previous years.
Reports in Italy are stating the Blues are likely to table a ‘monster’ £84 million bid for Chiesa.
According to Calciomercato, the European Champions ‘have shown interest’ and are ‘ready to make an important investment’ to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
This can easily be dismissed as paper talk, but the club’s track record in the transfer market over attacking talent has been pretty consistent since 2020.
And a further £84 million investment next summer would appear to be an obvious act to make sure the squad’s level continues to improve even if Thomas Tuchel takes Chelsea to a Premier League title by May.
If there is an “issue” with singing Chiesa I am sure most will not care, because the constant clamour for more and more signings will not likely dwindle. But a move of this size would send a message that the £140 million spent on three attackers in 2020 has not been enough.
That trio was Timo Werner (£45m), Hakim Ziyech (£33m) and Kai Havertz (£62m).
At the time, the spend on all three players was supposed to usher in a fresh look to Chelsea’s attack with the sale of Eden Hazard in 2019 to Real Madrid, and the departures of Willian and Pedro the following year.
It is fair to say all three have had high and low points since moving to west London, with Havertz’s Champions League-winning goal clearly looking priceless given the weight of the triumph. Whilst Werner and Ziyech have struggled to fully settle, dealing with form and fitness issues.
But throwing more money at an issue that Marina Granovskaia has helped to outlay an exorbitant amount on would be detrimental to Chelsea’s overall recruitment process.
It also demeans the idea of good coaching, that Thomas Tuchel cannot find a solution internally to make the incredible squad he has at his disposal better.
You can add the £98 million outlay on Romelu Lukaku to that investment to solve our attack in 2021 and that bill just gets longer.
Even looking away from that trio, the recent form of Callum Hudson-Odoi on the left of Tuchel’s attack should prompt pause for thought, starting seven games in a row for the first time in his Chelsea career and growing in influence.
Ziyech too against Leicester and Juventus has picked up form, same with Werner returning from injury and netting the fourth goal in midweek, set up by Ziyech.
Havertz although looking sluggish has provided goals and flashes of brilliance, hopefully coming to life.
Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount also provided quality over a crucial winter period after battling with their own fitness issues so far this term.
Unless the club is willing to let a few of their current attacking cast depart in 2022, the priority in spending should be allocated to other areas like defensive backup, defensive midfield, potentially rotational options at wingback and goalkeeper.
Chiesa is a wonderful talent, but if anything Tuesday’s performance shows Chelsea are far from limited in their attack.
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Source by Football London