23rd January 2017. By Edward Stratmann. Having enjoyed a fantastic season with Fiorentina so far, Federico Bernardeschi crucially carried his fine form into La Viola's clash with fierce rivals Juventus.

For the man who's unquestionably one of the brightest talents in Italian and European football, this presented him with another opportunity to prove himself against one of the league's premiere teams, just as he'd done against Napoli before Christmas, where he bagged a brace and supplied a delightful assist.

Although he couldn't replicate the same output as he did against Maurizio Sarri's men, the 22-year-old Federico Bernardeschi Fiorentinastill played beautifully and chimed in with an assist in the Lillies' 2-1 win over the Champions.

Operating as Paulo Sousa's 10 in his chosen 3-5-1-1 formation, just in behind forward Nikola Kalinic, the Italian took up purposeful positions throughout to help his team gain superiority.

For the most part, Bernardeschi chose to position himself in the right half space. Indeed, this spatial occupation not only allowed him to persistently find space but also interact positively with his teammates. From these areas, he could combine effectively with Federico Chiesa, Fiorentina's right wing back, plus also with the more centrally located players such as Borja Valero, Matias Vecino and striker Kalinic. Upon parlaying the afore with the way Sousa instructs his players to move the ball quickly and form triangles and rhombuses around the ball carrier to ensure options are always present, and it's little wonder why Once he had the ball at his feet, the Azzurri international shone just as brightly, providing a real spark and sense of imagination to Fiorentina's attacking forays. Using his free flowing, elegant, unmistakable dribbling technique, in combination with his pace and bravery to run at markers, he set about making things happen. And he did just that, providing a constant menace to the away side courtesy of his surging runs and overall dynamism on the ball.

Crucially, though, Bernardeschi's passing ability allowed him to compliment this aspect of his armoury superbly. His assured, well weighted assist for Kalinic's opener gave a solid example of his capacity to unlock defences, in a match where his penchant to engineer chances arose as another glowing component of his output.

After another tremendous body of work by the versatile starlet, who's also capable of playing on either wing or even as a wing back, he suitably illustrated why he's one of the most coveted talents in Europe. With Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma, AC Milan and
happy with him. I have a wonderful relationship with the coach, on both a human and professional level."

The feeling is clearly mutual, for the tactically sophisticated Sousa clearly relishes working with the extraordinarily gifted sensation, a player that gives him such a high level of flexibility. "He is a player who has a strong desire to help the team, the city and himself," Sousa mused.

"When a player has this attitude, the coach has the ability to change tactics. Not everyone has this open-mindedness."

Although there was much talk about his courageous decision to take on the number 10 jersey last season and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Giancarlo Antognoni, Roberto Baggio and Rui Costa, there's no doubting that he's growing into the responsibility and handling the pressure that comes with this marvelously now.

Being the side's joint leading goalscorer, with nine, and having laid on a further three assists, while playing with such confidence and guile, has seen him emphatically answer any remaining critics in style.

He may not yet be at the level of said former legends of Fiorentina just yet, but this game changing genius is well on his way to conjuring a special legacy of his own at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The one key caveat, however, will of course be if he stays at the club long enough to do so.

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