What Domenico Berardi Can Learn from Juventus' Star Names

Jack Alexandros Rathborn@@jackrathbornContributor IIIFebruary 18, 2014

Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi celebrates after scoring his fourth goal, during a Serie A soccer match against Sassuolo, at Reggio Emilia's Mapei stadium, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Davide Spada, Lapresse)
Davide Spada/Associated Press

Domenico Berardi has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Serie A strugglers Sassuolo and with Juventus co-owning the player, talk has already begun as to when, not if, the player will join the Bianconeri.

Plenty believe he could cut it as early as next season in Turin, partly thanks to his signature game against Milan, in which the 19-year-old scored four goals in the performance of his career.

The fact that Antonio Conte has experimented over a couple of games against Real Madrid with a 4-3-3 formation could boost Berardi's chances of being signed by the Old Lady as soon as this summer, no matter the outcome of the Neroverdi's battle to avoid relegation.

With Fabio Quagliarella stropping after his omission from the Europa League squad, Sebastian Giovinco's relationship with the fans souring, Mirko Vucinic seemingly available for other clubs after his move to Inter broke down in January and Dani Osvaldo's loan move far from certain to be made permanent, reinforcements up top seem inevitable.

Berardi's versatility enables him to play out wide in a 4-3-3, or to be one of the centre-forwards in a 3-5-2 system, and with his speed, athleticism and outstanding potential, it would not be too premature for him to make the move ahead of next season.

Even though he would be unlikely to cement a starting berth immediately, it could be invaluable to be surrounded by so many top-class players, who could relay great advice as he begins what should be a wonderful career in Italian football.

Andrea Pirlo seems likely to re-sign ahead of the summer, when his contract will expire, so the Azzurri legend will likely be the man to inspire Berardi once he begins his Juve career.

Despite not playing in his position, Pirlo can set a precedent for the rest of his career, Berardi would just have to observe the way in which the 34-year-old conducts himself on a day-to-day basis.

The professionalism exhibited and the way that you rarely hear a peep from Pirlo, who predominantly focuses on his training and football.

The class personified by Pirlo would surely inspire Berardi and be a key factor in helping the player realise his potential in a black and white shirt.

Carlos Tevez would be somebody that could provide an invaluable impact on Berardi's career as well, although the Argentinean is not the perfect role model after several controversial moments in his career. However, having the chance to play alongside one of the best players in European football over the past 10 years would evidently inspire the youngster.

Tevez's work rate has embodied his performances over his career, which could compliment any player's game.

The versatility of El Apache should also be noted should Berardi be his team-mate in a few months' time; although they are not directly comparable, they are not too dissimilar in the way that Conte would be able to use both of them.

Having played often enough from a wide position, Tevez has shown he will happily play whichever position benefits the team most.

Berardi should embrace his versatility, no matter his personal preference or probable success with the national team in one role or the other.

Furthermore, the likes of Fernando Llorente will also help raise his game even more, with the Spanish international a wonderful role model.

The Spain international can help Berardi learn to be patient and wait for his opportunity, before seizing it with both hands when it arrives, as opposed to Giovinco for example, who continuously wastes chances handed to him by the manager.

Llorente started the season short of fitness and behind Vucinic in the pecking order, who was a personal favourite of Conte's, but the former Athletic Bilbao striker did not grumble, rather he took on board the advice from his manager and when he was eventually given a run of starts, he proved his worth.

Berardi will have to show similar resilience initially at Juventus, probably over a longer stretch of time, too.

But he should not panic if he is not integrated into the first team immediately, as at a club of Juve's stature, it is very rare for a player to stroll into the side without needing to fight for his place.

It is not without question that Berardi will join Juve this summer. It is possible that he could remain with Sassuolo for another season, especially if they avoid relegation, or join a bigger Serie A side on loan.

But with 12 goals and nine assists in 19 matches for the Serie A newcomers, Berardi has shown that he can succeed in a side where he is surrounded by mostly inferior players.

In a team with players of equal or superior talent at a club like Juve, Berardi would thrive and take his game to a new level.

To be training day-to-day with an array of star names and for those to be able to compliment his game on the pitch, it makes sense for Berardi to join Juve as early as this summer and continue his meteoric rise to the top.


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