Will a Serie A Giant Sign Domenico Berardi This Summer?

It was a foggy January evening at the Mapei Stadium, 12th January 2014.

Newly promoted Sassuolo hosted Italian giants Milan, but Sassuolo’s wonderkid didn’t read the script.

A young, 19-year-old Domenico Berardi scored four goals in single game against Milan and truly announced himself as one of Italy’s most exciting prospects, yet remarkably he’s still at the club.

Berardi, Sassuolo’s Favorite Son

A young Berardi had already played a vital part in his side winning the Serie B title the year prior by contributing 11 league goals.

This kind of form didn’t go unnoticed and, the following summer, Turin giants Juventus announced that Berardi had joined the Old Lady on a co-ownership deal that saw Luca Marrone move in the opposite way.

The Bianconeri decided to loan the young star back to the club on a season-loan deal.

Berardi had been at Sassuolo since the age of 16, and Juventus felt like this was a perfect way for him to develop his raw talent.

A newly promoted Sassuolo embarked on their first-ever Serie A season with Berardi at the helm.

Making his Serie A debut didn’t seem to affect Berardi in the slightest, in-fact he bettered his goals tally and ended the season with 16 goals in 29 games.

Berardi became the stuff of legend as he scored all four goals in a 4-3 home victory against Milan that costed Massimiliano Allegri his job as the Rossoneri manager. In doing so, he became the second youngest-ever player to score four goals in a single Serie A match, only behind calcio legend Silvio Piola.

Although this was undoubtedly his most remarkable achievement, it wasn’t his only standout moment as he also scored two more hat-tricks against Sampdoria and Fiorentina respectively.

Domenico was beginning to excite fans across the globe as well as scaring defenders across all of Italy after just a single season in the top-flight.

Because of his remarkable form, Juve renewed the co-ownership deal and decided to send Berardi back on loan to the Mapei Stadium once again for the 2014/15 season, why not after all as he seemed to be rapidly developing under then-manager Eusebio Di Francesco.

Berardi once again played a huge part in Sassuolo’s campaign as they improved on their previous season finishing 12th in Serie A and he finished as the club’s highest scorer with 15 and 11 assists.

Berardi broke another record that season by becoming the youngest player to score 30 Serie A goals since 1958.

With this kind of form, Berardi looked in good contention for a place in the Juventus squad for the 2015-16 season. However, the issue of his co-ownership was resolved in Sassuolo’s favor who now legally owned the player.

With retaining Berardi, Sassuolo further strengthened their squad for the 2015/16 campaign and signed key players such as Grégoire Defrel and Stefano Sensi. They both made a massive impact on the side and crucially helped share the goal scoring responsibility with Berardi.

Now Di Francesco had a side full of quality in every department featuring Francesco Acerbi in center-back, Matteo Politano and Berardi on the wings as well as Defrel up-top to soak up the service.

Sassuolo had an extremely impressive season and finished in sixth position in the Serie A standings. This meant that they had qualified for European football (Europa League) for the first time in the Neroverdi’s history.

Despite his eye-catching form domestically, Berardi surprisingly only received his official first cap for the Azzurri in 2018 by Roberto Mancini.

However, Berardi was a key figure in the Azzurri’s European Championship winning side of 2021.

Domenico Berardi has remained a key figure in a consistently good Sassuolo team in the following years. The current side boasts some of Italy’s most exciting prospects like the young, attacking Italian duo of Giacomo Raspadori (22) and Gianluca Scamacca (23).

Yet, a now 27-year-old Berardi is still the club’s top-scorer this season with 14 goals as well as 16 assists.

This season has also seen Berardi reach a century of Serie A goals for the Emilia-Romagna based-side; he also boasts being the clubs highest-ever goal scorer with 119 goals.

So, the question is why hasn’t a so-called “bigger team” signed Berardi yet?

Domenico Berardi has proved time and time again to be one of the most consistent and impressive players in Serie A as his stats show.

Let’s take a look at the Italian sides who could benefit from having the number 25 in their squad.

Milan – Formation: 4-2-3-1

Milan have significantly improved under Stefano Pioli in the past few seasons and are currently in pole position to win this year’s Scudetto.

Yet, Milan’s young side (excluding Ibrahimovic and Giroud of course), could use a player in or approaching his prime years and at 27-years-old Berardi would certainly be a useful addition to the Rossoneri.

Currently, Milan’s right-winger, Alexis Saelemaekers is a young talent who Milan will certainly hope to improve in the next few seasons. However, the Belgian has only managed to contribute one goal and three assists in the League this season; Berardi could shine in his position.

Roma – Formation: 3-4-2-1

Despite Tammy Abraham’s fantastic goal scoring form which has seen him net 15 league goals so far this season, he is carrying the scoring responsibility for the Giallorossi, as the second-highest scorer is Lorenzo Pellegrini with eight goals then its an aging Henrikh Mkhitaryan with five.

It’s not unimaginable to picture Berardi in this side with his goal scoring attributes. With the addition of Berardi, José Mourinho’s Roma might break into the top four next season.

Napoli – Formation: 4-2-3-1

Unlike Roma, Napoli have no problem sharing the goals around. Luciano Spalletti’s 4-2-3-1 formation has been highly prolific in-front of goal with Victor Osimhen leading with 13 goals, Dries Mertens playing behind with 11 goals and Lorenzo Insigne on the left-hand side in his final season for the Neapolitans with a respectable ten to his name.

However, it’s fair to say Mexican right-winger Hirving Lozano has been the weak link in this attacking quartet with only five Serie A goals this season.

In a side with Napoli’s quality, Berardi could be a great addition in the Partenopei’s quest to finally win their first Scudetto since the days of Diego Maradona.

Let’s see if Berardi finally gets a move to one of Italy’s big boys this summer.