Federico Bernardeschi 22 Midfielder (ish) Fiorentina Italy
Erm, this is going to be a funny one to write. You see dear reader, the problem is your reviewer knows this young man is a good player, he also knows lots of people are very excited about the future both for club and country here. The issue? Every time I have watched Federico Bernardeschi over the last two years he has a) been playing in a different position and b) has looked like a footballer struggling to adapt to a new role.
We want to believe though, and recent signs are actually quite exciting.
2016 has been…
…hopefully the year they’ve cracked it.
On top of watching full games I’ve also watched the YouTube compilations, read the profiles from far better informed people that me, heard the comments from people in the game and I know this is a good young footballer. I have genuinely never seen it though, but I’m not anywhere near arrogant enough to believe I’m right and everyone else is wrong.
Here’s the reality; I have watched him full games play as a striker, a deeper lying striker (to coin a Football Manager phrase), something more akin to a midfield playmaker, cover as a more traditional central midfielder for one 45 minutes, wide of a front three, as an out-and-out winger on the right having been told this was his natural and best position, and as a full-back on the right. Where is he excelling recently and suddenly looking like a man at home on the pitch at last?
As a left-winger.
I give up.
He’s left footed and playing on the left has given him a natural goal threat and he’s exciting people again. He’s recently operated left of the two in a 4-3-2-1 or as a proper winger in a 4-2-3-1, scored goals and looked good doing it. Our advice is this; if that’s where you get the best out of him, play him there. Please.
Honestly, we’ll give you money, just stop moving him about.
So I said it would be a funny one to write and it is because I know I’m doing him a disservice because he’s a far better player than I’ve seen on the opportunities I’ve had to watch him. I want him to flourish and maybe he will, but I can’t judge him on all the football other people have seen him play. I think it’s fair to go in the middle and give him a C, but I know some will disagree.
We suspect there might be a move coming and a Mr. A. Conte of Stamford Bridge is a fan. A bright future ahead and a full international already, just don’t let versatility become a millstone.
C It’s in there, you know it, we know it, we just want to see it more with our own eyes
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