Federico Chiesa passed his Chelsea transfer audition as Thomas Tuchel has Hakim Ziyech decision – Football.London

Juventus’ line up was full of players who have been linked to Chelsea.

Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro, Leonardo Bonucci, Adrien Rabiot and Federico Chiesa have all found their way into the rumour mill in the past and Juan Cuadrado even played for the Blues.

While this year’s Champions League campaign has barely started, transfer season is never really over and Thomas Tuchel and co. will have been making his assessments over the course of 90 minutes, preparing for the return clash with the Old Lady after struggling to find a way through in the 1-0 defeat.

What will the German have learned?

If he wasn’t sure at first, the first 11 seconds of the second half will have told him Chiesa is special.

The Italian international produced an intelligent blindside run to capitalise on Federico Bernardeschi’s through-ball and the Blues failed to challenge Adrien Rabiot in the air.

It was clever, but Chiesa’s instinct to fire on goal was equally impressive at a narrowing angle, as he earned Juventus the win.

It topped off what had already been an impressive 45 minutes for the EURO 2020 winner, who the Blues had an £85million offer rejected in the summer, according to Sports Illustrated.

Chiesa is on a two-year loan deal at the Allianz Arena from Fiorentina and Juventus have the option to make the deal permanent for a fee of £34.2m plus £8.5m in add-ons which they are expected to trigger regardless of where his long term future lies.

The 23-year-old certainly looked at home wherever he was on the Turin pitch.

While Juve didn’t have a great deal of possession in the opening half, their tactical acumen was clear. Chiesa played on the left, in behind Bernardeschi and as a central striker at times.

In each role he generated chances. First latching onto Mateo Kovacic’s loose ball on the halfway line to drive down the right and straight into the box, but slipping it wide.

Then he showed a clever little run in the 18-yard box to receive the ball with his back to goal. He occupied plenty of room but his turn couldn’t quite direct his shot on goal.

Then again on the halfway line but this time jinks and jives and teases Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso before spinning them both to drive forward down the left.



TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29: Federico Chiesa of Juventus celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Juventus and Chelsea FC at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)
Federico Chiesa of Juventus celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the clash between Juventus and Chelsea

Chiesa simply looked like he was full of clever played that required very little thought.

In the same 35 minutes or so that displayed those delightful moments, Hakim Ziyech had no such luck.

The Moroccan international was busy in the early stages of the games and looked hungry to perform well. It spilled over into sloppy fouls as Chelsea pressed high, however.

The 28-year-old escaped a yellow card but accrued four fouls in the opening half-hour or so.

Ajax’s former wizard could only watch the magic on show and things didn’t improve as he struggled to make an impact into Juventus’ deep defence before picking up a yellow early in the second half and being replaced as Chelsea searched for a goal.

Of course, Chelsea have already splashed out on their difference-maker in front of goal in Romelu Lukaku. Marina Granovskai might begin to see similarities with her quest to sign the Belgian however.

Juventus posted losses of €210m (£179m) in their most recent financial results, and have been moving to get rid of high-salaried players such as Cristiano Ronaldo of their books. It’s not dissimilar from Inter Milan’s position that Chelsea were able to take advantage of.

The Blues are well stocked in terms of attacking wingers but with Ziyech’s inconsistency and transfer rumours, Christian Pulisic’s inability to stay fit and Chiesa’s position acumen that Tuchel would no doubt appreciate – it’s difficult to see the thought of signing the Juventus star not running through Granovskaia’s mind.

Tuchel may not need a winger as much as other positions in his squad but Chiesa pressed his case and outshone his rivals.

Could the attacker give the Stamford Bridge side another winning tool? Yes, and Chelsea like winning.

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