In pictures: Man Utd v Villarreal
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Rio Ferdinand has suggested that Manchester United should try and beat Chelsea to the signing of Federico Chiesa this summer, with Joe Cole likening the Juventus star to former Liverpool marksman Luis Suarez. Chiesa has emerged as one of the world’s best young players in recent years and is said to be on Chelsea’s radar ahead of the January transfer window.
He scored 15 goals from 46 appearances for Juventus in all competitions last season, earning a place in Italy’s squad for Euro 2020 in the process.
Chiesa went on to play an influential role in leading the Azzurri to their first continental triumph since 1968, chipping in with two goals during the tournament.
The forward has since maintained his illustrious form upon his return to Juventus, scoring twice from six matches since the beginning of the new season.
He found the back of the net against Chelsea on Wednesday evening to hand the Old Lady an impressive win over the defending European champions in the Champions League on home soil.
The Blues are reportedly keen on bringing Chiesa to Stamford Bridge in the near future, but Ferdinand has suggested that United should also be getting in on the act.
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He told BT Sport that the Red Devils missed a trick by not signing the 23-year-old, who is on loan at Juventus with an obligation to buy next year, over the summer,
“He’s a huge player and he’s been linked with a few clubs in England,” said Ferdinand.
“I’m sure they’re thinking: “Why didn’t we get him?” He’s just a fantastic footballer, the intensity with which he plays with.
“We saw in the Euros he was the main goal threat for the Italians who went on to win the tournament.”
Ferdinand’s sentiments were echoed by Cole, who went on to compare Chiesa to Atletico Madrid striker and former Liverpool man Suarez.
“The biggest attribute he’s got is he plays with a humility,” added Cole.
“He’s hustling and bustling like a young Luis Suarez character, he can make something out of nothing. Every club in Europe will want a slice of him when he become available.”
Ferdinand was particularly impressed with Chiesa’s tendency to drive at defenders with pace, a trait which makes him a perfect fit for any club looking to score goals and win trophies.
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“It’s his pace, his drive,” explained the former United defender. “He’s the one who is the threat, he’s potent, he wants to run in behind.
“He’s that modern day striker who can play anywhere across the front line and he’s as comfortable out wide as he is through the middle. He unnerves defenders with that pace, he’s so direct.”
It remains to be seen whether United or Chelsea will be able to prise Chiesa away from Juventus, either in January or when next summer rolls around.
He looks set to play a major role in this season’s battle for supremacy in Serie A, with Inter Milan looking to defend their hard-earned Scudetto over the coming weeks and months.
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