Understandably, Domenico Berardi is a topic of great discussion around these parts. Partly because of how we want Berardi to wear bianconero sooner rather than later. But also because, as we sit here in late-September of 2016, a lot of us already expected Berardi to be a Juventus player based on what some of the club’s representatives, mainly Beppe Marotta, have told us in the past.
Berardi is still the apple of our eye. Oh, yes, he is that.
And, considering how he’s started the season, we’re not the only ones talking about it.
In an interview with WhoScored.com, Sassuolo manager Eusebio Di Francesco discussed a multitude of topics — ranging from why he has decided to stay with Sassuolo to the club’s current Europa League excursion, their first-ever participation in a European competition. There was no mention of his fashionable choice of glasses and how he comes to look so fancy in them, but one of the topics he did hit on was that of Berardi, who he has managed since Sassuolo was making its way up from Italy’s second division to Serie A three years ago.
“Berardi, for me, has been ready for a great team for two years, but it is a matter of opinion. If I had coached a great team two years ago, I would have taken him. It's too easy to see when a player is worth 10 million, it is obvious to everyone; yet I have been criticized for having faith in him even when he has not been in the best of form. But there was talent in him and I am convinced that negative experiences are crucial to the growth of players.”
Di Francesco is in a unique spot mainly because he’s seen Berardi’s game grow up into what it is today right in front of him.
When Juventus bought Berardi on a co-ownership deal, he was a teenager who had yet to play in Serie A. Berardi then went on to score 16 goals and assist on six more in his first season in Italy’s top flight — something we’ve rarely seen from a teenager who hadn’t played in Serie A before that point.
We all know what Berardi has been able to do after that impressive debut campaign. He was absolutely on fire and in some of the best form of his career before he was injured right before the first international break of the season. It was just another reason why so many people think so highly of him and why Juve should be his next destination, the “great club” Di Francesco believes Berardi should be playing for.
Berardi certainly deserves a top club. Let’s just hope that it truly is Juventus like Marotta wants us to think is going to happen. Beppe is a smart man and I doubt he would let an opportunity to let a player of Berardi’s caliber slip through the club’s grasp without great regret.