What would Federico Chiesa bring to Aston Villa?

Switzerland v Italy: Round of 16 - UEFA EURO 2024
Switzerland v Italy: Round of 16 - UEFA EURO 2024 / Mateusz Slodkowski/GettyImages

It is understood that Juventus and new boss Thiago Motta are willing to sell Italian superstar Federico Chiesa this summer and Aston Villa are one of the clubs keen to sign him. It is believed that he could leave the Italian giants for a bargain price of around £20 million and that is therefore a deal that Villa could do now that PSR concerns have been put to bed.

Other top clubs have also been linked with signing Chiesa this summer. Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle have all been thought to have an interest but it is believed that Villa hold a very strong interest and are wanting to start negotiations soon. So, should Unai Emery manage to capture the signature of the Italian what qualities would he bring to the squad?

1. Champions League quality

Federico Chiesa
Juventus v Paris Saint-Germain: Group H - UEFA Champions League / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

One thing Aston Villa could do with heading into next season is a player or two of the highest quality with Champions League experience. Chiesa has 13 Champions League appearances to his name and scored 6 goals and produced 2 assists. That may not be many appearances in the competition, but that is largely due to Juventus's ban from playing in the UEFA competitions. It is clear that Chiesa has the ability to play at the highest level and has produced it previously. With Villa heading into their first Champions League campaign in over forty years, a player of Chiesa's calibre would elevate their already impressive squad to another level.

2. Versatility

Chiesa is a player that can play in a number of positions in the attacking third of the pitch. His performances for Italy at the European Championships, where he was a standout player in a fairly poor team, showed that he likes to go in and out of different positions. This means that he is able to control the game in the attacking areas and provide real attacking fluidity. Villa have very good attackers already, but the likes of Leon Bailey and Moussa Diaby are often found in just one position. Chiesa has the versatility to play in the No.10 role, on either flank or up top. For a team that will be playing a high amount of games in different competitions, this would provide excellent rotation and options.

3. Excellent dribbling ability

Federico Chiesa, Michel Aebischer
Switzerland v Italy: Round of 16 - UEFA EURO 2024 / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Previously compared to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, Chiesa is a very strong carrier of the ball. Last season's Serie A stats showed that Chiesa made 643 carries and a progressive distance of almost 3000 yards (Progressive carries meaning the player takes the ball more than ten yards). Chiesa has a great ability to keep the ball under pressure when dribbling at speed and doesn't often lose possession of the ball. Comfortable using both feet, Chiesa would be a perfect replacement for Douglas Luiz in terms of being able to get the team up the pitch with the ball.

4. Creating chances

Douglas Luiz was often Villa's main man when it came to creating chances and threading through balls through for Watkins, Bailey etc to get in behind the opposition defence. Now that Luiz has left the club, Chiesa would provide the similar skill of unlocking defences with killer passes and through balls. Chiesa's stats show he creates a lot of chances per game and alongside Youri Tielemans this would be crucial in Villa's attacking play. Chiesa often finds himself in behind the forward, similar to Emi Buendia, and is an expert at providing a pass through of the perfect weight for attacking players to run on to.

5. An eye for goal

Federico Chiesa
Juventus v AC Monza - Serie A TIM / Valerio Pennicino/GettyImages

Chiesa scored 9 goals in Serie A last season and the majority of them came from finding space near the edge of the box. In that respect, his goalscoring ability can be compared to that of Frank Lampard who had a knack of timing his run into the box to score with a first or second time finish into the corners. Chiesa possesses a similar ability and with the amount of times Villa's wingers and full-backs put crosses into the box and cut the ball back from the by-line, the Italian would find himself having a number of goalscoring opportunities.

Aston Villa will be keen to puruse their interest in Chiesa now that the player has returned to Italy following his country's exit from Euro 2024. The club would like to think that the guarantee of playing Champions League football, which the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea can't do, would be a critical factor in persuading the player to move to Villa Park.

Villa have already signed five players since the transfer window opened three and a half weeks ago. Ross Barkley has returned to the club following a £5 million move from Luton Town, Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea joined the club as part of the deal that saw Douglas Luiz head to Juventus. Lewis Dobbin has joined from Everton whilst Ian Maatsen has signed for £37.5 million from Chelsea following an incredible loan spell at Borussia Dortmund last season.


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