Whenever a team goes through a transfer window without signing many players – as Liverpool did last summer – it’s natural for fans to assume that their club were not even trying to complete deals.
Yet that may not be the case. A potential transfer move has to be suitable for the player and both clubs involved, plus the complicated and vast finances have to be agreed upon. It isn’t easy.
Nonetheless, many Kopites were disheartened when the only addition to Jurgen Klopp’s squad this summer was Ibrahima Konate. It’s fair to say they’d have been much happier had the Reds also secured the signature of Euro 2020 champion Federico Chiesa.
An unrealistic target for Liverpool this summer? Perhaps, but perhaps not.
The club did at least try to sign Chiesa, as has been revealed by Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
“One of the first teams that had asked Fiorentina for Chiesa was Liverpool. But Chiesa said: ‘No, I don’t want to go to the Premier League because I want to stay in Italy,” he said.
“He had already promised himself to Juve for a while. Liverpool always arrive early for certain players. They had already arrived for Chiesa, but both Federico and his father said no to the Premier League at that moment.”
As the 23-year-old was midway through a two-year loan deal from Fiorentina this summer – and Juventus have a provisional agreement in place to buy the player at the end of this season – Liverpool’s reported interest may have been a non-starter all along.
But a look at his strengths highlights the plausibility of the Reds looking to add Chiesa to their roster.
Number one on the pros list may be his versatility. While most experienced on the right of the forward line, Chiesa has also played centrally, on the left and even as a second striker in a front two on occasion.
Signing another younger player who, like Diogo Jota, can fulfil a variety of roles in the front three looks to be the logical step for Liverpool as they plan for the time when Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have either moved on or are no longer at their peak.
In terms of what he can actually do, no matter where he plays, it would appear that creating high quality chances for teammates is top of the pile.
The ECHO are celebrating Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool Premier League goals from 1 to 100 with a special souvenir publication – and Reds fans can get a copy now!
For only £2.50 you will receive the ‘Salah – Our Egyptian King’ edition as well as a free glossy poster.
It is available in most supermarkets and newsagents across Merseyside and North Wales – or online by clicking here.
Chiesa set up 18 Opta-defined clear-cut chances in Serie A last season (per Sofascore), which was the fourth most in Italy and would’ve put him third in England behind only Bruno Fernandes (with 20) and Kevin De Bruyne (19).
But to be so effective at such a relatively young age only makes his efforts all the more impressive. Among players aged under-24, Chiesa created at least five more clear-cut chances than anyone else in Serie A, and was four ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold who led the way on this front in the Premier League.
Ignore Liverpool’s right-back and Chelsea’s Mason Mount (who teed up 13 golden opportunities) for the sake of argument and Chiesa was responsible for at least twice as many clear-cut chances as any young player in England.
It’s no doubt in part thanks to his ability to dribble the ball well in dangerous areas. For each of the last four full seasons Chiesa has been in Serie A’s top seven players for carrying the ball into the penalty box, topping the rankings in 2018/19 (per FBRef).
It’s also encouraging to see that his detailed stats (per Understat) have been improving every year. Back in 2016/17, when he broke into the Fiorentina first team as an 18-year-old, Chiesa averaged 0.34 non-penalty expected goals and assists for every 90 minutes he played.
That then rose to 0.39 in the following campaign, moved up to 0.45 the next year and onto 0.55 in 2019/20. His average was then 0.63 in his first season with Juventus, which put him in the same ball park as Liverpool’s forwards – Mohamed Salah’s figure last year was 0.65, for instance.
Chiesa has suffered a slight dip so far this season as Juve have started the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era slowly. But he scored a fine goal against Chelsea in the last round of Champions League matches and has improved to a level where he would be a great addition to the Liverpool squad.
#1 Football Merchandise & Souvenirs Store Liverpool Shop Chelsea Shop Manchester City Shop Arsenal Shop Tottenham Hotspur Shop Manchester United Shop Leicester City Shop Newcastle United Shop West Ham United Shop Barcelona Shop Real Madrid Shop
manchester city gifts, manchester city shop, manchester city store, manchester city superstore, manchester city merch, manchester city merchandise, manchester city souvenirs