Why Arsenal should go back in the market for Domenico Berardi
Back in March, a report from Calciomercato (h/t Daily Mail) claimed that Arsenal had been scouting Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi with a view to a potential transfer during the summer window. However, nothing came to fruition and the Italian international ended up staying put in his homeland.
Domenico Berardi started his footballing education at Cosenza before joining Sassuolo’s youth system back in 2010. He made his first-team breakthrough during the 2012-13 season and bagged 11 goals in 37 appearances in the Serie B to propel his club to top-flight promotion.
The left-footed ace quickly established himself as one of the best young footballers in Italy with a 16-goal haul in his debut campaign in the Serie A, helping Sassuolo avoid relegation. Berardi has blossomed into one of the most potent wide attackers in Italy over the past few years, amassing an outstanding tally of 92 goals and 62 assists in 269 appearances for Sassuolo in all competitions.
Berardi made his senior international debut for Italy back in 2018 and has since scored thrice in 9 appearances for the Azzurri.
Berardi would add more firepower to Arsenal’s attack
Arsenal bolstered their defence and midfield with the acquisition of Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey respectively. Willian was also roped in on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea to add more depth and experience to Mikel Arteta’s forward line.
However, things haven’t really gone according to the script for Arteta in the opening quarter of the campaign. Arsenal currently sit 14th in the standings following a lacklustre start that has seen them win just 4 of their 10 opening PL fixtures so far. While the Gunners have done a pretty decent job defensively, conceding 12 goals, they have left a lot to be desired with their efforts in the final third.
Arsenal’s tally of 10 goals in 10 games doesn’t strike the right chords when compared to the current top-four in the division. Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea have all banged in 20+ goals in the league and the Gunners surely can’t expect to find themselves in the mix for Champions League football at the end of the season with such a dismal scoring record.
The likes of Willian, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka have shared only 2 league goals among them so far while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s form has been on a downward spiral ever since his new contract in North London. The Gabonese star has found the net only twice in 10 PL appearances so far, which represents a massive fall from grace for someone who bagged 22 goals last term.
Arsenal, to that end, need to dip into the January window for some additional firepower in front of goal. Making a renewed attempt to sign Domenico Berardi would definitely make a lot of sense. The Italy international has carved out a massive reputation for himself as a reliable outlet of goals and assists despite plying his trade with one of the mid-table clubs in his homeland.
A tricky left-footed wide player, Berardi predominantly operates as an inverted winger down the right but is also capable of slotting into a No.10 role. Hence, a potential deal to bring him to North London would not only increase competition for places on the flanks but also help the Gunners cope with the absence of an out-and-out central attacking midfielder.
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Domenico Berardi has already achieved a lot at Sassuolo in the Serie A and still potentially has his best years ahead of him at 26. Playing for an elite club at the highest level will help him take his career to the next level and earn him the recognition that a player of his calibre truly deserves.
Looking at things from Arsenal’s perspective, they definitely need to reshape their attacking options to reduce the dependence on the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette. With Mesut Ozil no longer in Arteta’s plans, the arrival of a quality player like Berardi would go a long way towards filling in the creative void.