Chelsea told Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi stance
Speaking to Italian outlet Tuttosport (h/t Mirror), Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali revealed that the club wishes to keep Chelsea transfer target, Domenico Berardi, this season. The Blues have been linked with the Italian international who won the 2020 UEFA Euro this summer, but it does not seem like they would be able to get their man this summer.
The Sassuolo chief stated: “Caputo, Boga, Berardi and Locatelli won’t be sold. We’ve received lots of offers for them, but we’ve rejected all of them. We won’t give up our best players because we have an ambitious project with De Zerbi, with Berardi being the leader of this team.” So, does this come as a blow to Chelsea? And what should Thomas Tuchel do in this instance? Let’s find out.
Chelsea don’t need Berardi
In simple terms, the Blues don’t have a need for the former Juventus winger at their club. Berardi majorly plays on the right flank but also dabbles on the left side of the attack. However, Chelsea already possess a number of top quality attackers in that position in the likes of Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Hakim Ziyech.
Even Timo Werner and Kai Havertz can play either as a number 9 or as wide forwards in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 system at Chelsea. That brings us to another point which concerns the German’s setup, where there is no real need for a winger, at least on paper. The former PSG manager usually lines up with two wide wing-backs and two attacking midfielders to support the striker.
This change of ideology regarding the usage of wingers can be best seen in the case of Pulisic. A winger by trade, the United States international was playing down the flanks in attack for Frank Lampard. But ever since Tuchel arrived, he has played as an attacking midfielder. So, the Blues don’t have an urgent gap that needs to be filled down the wings.
Moreover, if Tuchel really does want to use wide men going forward, he can always hand more starts to 20-year-old Hudson-Odoi as well as former Ajax star, Hakim Ziyech; both of whom can play on the wings if required. Another way that Tuchel can kill two birds with one stone is if he succeeds in landing a striker this summer.
Chelsea should focus elsewhere
Signing a No.9, according to Football.london, is on Tuchel’s list and Erling Haaland is their priority target. On top of that, Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane, and Inter Milan hitman Romelu Lukaku are all names linked with the West Londoners. The sale of Olivier Giroud has freed up a spot in Chelsea’s squad and they can use someone to compete with Timo Werner.
So, if the Blues address their need of signing a striker, they can use Werner on the wings. The 25-year-old striker arrived last summer for a fee in the region of £47.6m and was preferred heavily in Chelsea’s starting XI by both Lampard and Tuchel. If that pattern of trust continues, Werner can play on either side of the new No. 9 – if any such signing does happen at Stamford Bridge before deadline day.
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Moreover, the aforementioned report by Mirror mentions that if the Blues want Berardi, ‘it will likely take’ more than what they paid for Werner. The 26-year-old is on a contract that expires in 2024, meaning that his current side would not be under urgent pressure to sell him with regards to an expiring deal. As for Chelsea, it is better if they focus their time and money and other positions that need strengthening.