Chelsea lead the race for pursuit of 26-year-old Juve star – A battle that Lampard should win?


Why Chelsea must press ahead with their pursuit of Federico Bernardeschi

According to a report from Gazetta dello Sport (h/t Express), Chelsea have been identified as a potential destination for Juventus star Federico Bernardeschi, who is keen on securing a transfer to the Premier League. Manchester United and Arsenal are also interested, but Chelsea have the upper hand as per the report, due to Juve’s interest in Blues midfielder Jorginho.

Having spent time at Atletico Carrara and Polisportiva Ponzano, Bernardeschi moved to the Fiorentina youth academy in 2003. After a loan spell at Crotone in 2013./14, the Italian winger made his first-team debut for the Viola in 2014. He went on to make 93 appearances for the club, producing a return of 23 goals and 12 assists.

Bernardeshchi made the switch to Juventus in 2017 and had been a regular in the first-team, up until Maurizio Sarri’s arrival last summer. Till date, he has featured 94 times for the Bianconeri, contributing with 9 goals and 12 assists.

Federico Bernardeschi in action for Juventus (Getty Images)
Federico Bernardeschi in action for Juventus (Getty Images)

Attacking reinforcements necessary for Chelsea

Attack is an area where Lampard & co. must bring in reinforcements at any cost. The lack of a quality centre-forward to compete with Tammy Abraham is a concern for the Londoners. At the same time, they should also look to add to their options on the flanks.

Currently, Chelsea have Willian, Pedro, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic as the wingers in the squad. In addition, the manager has also opted to use Mason Mount in wide role over the course of the season.

However, the Blues are facing the prospect of losing their senior-most attackers in Willian and Pedro, with the pair’s contract expiring at the end of the season. Furthermore, Hudson-Odoi has failed to live up to expectations after showing great promise in the last season. Hence, adding another wide player to the squad would bode well for Chelsea moving forward.

Willian in action for Chelsea. (Getty Images)
Willian is out of contract this summer (Getty Images)

And Bernardeschi, to that end, would be a handy addition. The 26-year-old hasn’t been in the most prolific form this season, managing just one goal and assist each. However, that can be attributed to the fact that he hasn’t been used regularly by Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri. In addition, he has also been played out of position on a number of occasions this term. This has impacted his output.

Last season saw the 26-year-old post decent numbers of 3 goals and 5 assists in 39 games. And in the season before that, the Juventus star had produced a return of 5 goals and 6 assists in 31 matches, indicating his potency when deployed on the flanks. In addition, he is a regular for the Italian national team, having made 24 appearances, in which he has 4 goals and 2 assists.

Signing him would add more quality and depth to the Chelsea attack, which could very well be depleted by the departures of Willian and Pedro.

Federico Bernardeschi during a game for Juventus (Getty Images)
Federico Bernardeschi during a game for Juventus (Getty Images)

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Bernardeschi hasn’t had the best of seasons this time out. But the 26-year-old has enough experience at the top level. Furthermore, he was in good form prior to this campaign. Hence, Chelsea should secure the signing of the Italian, in order to add more depth and quality to the side.