Federico Bernardeschi was a good player when he arrived at Juventus. But, because of the fee that Juventus paid Fiorentina three summers ago, simply being good wasn’t necessarily going to be good enough. There was room to grow, and for some short periods of time Bernardeschi showed that potential was starting to be fulfilled.
But, this season has been ... not great.
And that could very well be the thing that determines just how long Bernardeschi remains part of Juventus’ rather small Italian contingent.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio on Sunday night, that time in Turin could very well be coming to an end in a matter of months, with Sky Sport Italia’s transfer oracle reporting that Bernardeschi’s tenure with Juventus is running out. The biggest reason, outside of the obvious fact that the 26-year-old Bernardeschi hasn’t played all that well this season, is the fact that Juve has a certain teenager, Dejan Kulusevski, waiting in the wings after his big January move to the Italian champions.
Essentially, Bernardeschi has become expandable because of Kulusevski’s anticipated arrival in Turin after his completes his loan spell with Parma.
Selling Bernardeschi this summer (or whenever the next transfer window actually happens*) would not just clear the way for one of Serie A’s best young talents to get a spot on the roster, but also quite the unsatisfactory end to a Juventus career that was looking good around this time 12 months ago.
Bernardeschi’s season has been marred by the inability to truly find a good run of form. His ineffectiveness as a trequartista once Maurizio Sarri switched to a 4-3-1-2 formation was one of the bigger early-season developments as the club’s overall performance level fluctuated. And even as Sarri went back to a 4-3-3 in the weeks before the coronavirus caused Serie A to suspend play, it’s not like Bernardeschi was playing a whole lot to begin with — which is surprising in the fact that his best position has always been out wide where he can operate in space.
And with Kulusevski having a very good season at Parma, one player’s struggles might as well be creating another player’s opportunity.
But even though there are more pressing needs on this roster — hi, did you hear Juve’s midfield isn’t very good? — there is bound to be some kind of shakeup in attack. Whether it’s Bernardeschi heading out, Gonzalo Higuain heading out or even both, somebody who is currently at Juventus is bound to be on their way out come the next transfer window.