beppe marotta and fabio paratici

Juventus – early transfer thoughts for the Summer mercato

By tdf, April 9, 2015

beppe marotta and fabio paratici

Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici are the masterminds behind the ever stronger Juve squad – What changes will they make this Summer?

Sitting pretty at the top of Serie A with a healthy lead of 14 points over second placed Roma – which may as well be 15 considering the head to head measures – into the quarter-finals of the champions league and recently demolishing our friends in Florence to forge a path to the coppa italia final, now seems as good a time as any to focus on the work of Beppe Morrata and his henchman Fabio Paratici…Where can we improve? Who can we afford and target? Who must be jettisoned???


Much talk abounds regarding the expected move to his homeland of Carlitos Tevez. Barely a week passes without mention in the press of the player’s eagerness to head back to his roots, even as soon as this coming Summer. He has been in astounding form, leading the domestic scoring charts, plundering goals in Europe and forming a fine partnership with Morata. I expect he will honour his contract. And remain until 2016. Maybe even extend as his Lady seems jolly in Turin.

alvaro morata juventus

Morata has begun to justify the excitement surrounding his move from Real Madrid last July

Alongside him, Morata has finally began to justify the hype which accompanied his move to Turin. Wonderful acceleration, magical eye for goal and slowly but surely he is looking like a gem in the rough. For the first time since Del Piero and Trezeguet manned the front line, we appear to have a potentially dynamic duo up top whose natural strengths and characters dovetail superbly on the field.

Kingsley Coman is…an interesting player who has hardly played. I see very little space for him, in this or the next campaign. His potential is sparkling, but without the chance to apply himself, it remains a series of sparks in the pan. He will be loaned out. Which opens one spot.

Our elder, wiser, slower, less clinical in the final third spaniard, Senoras Llorente, has endured a pretty wretched season. His stock has lowered, as has his use to our cause. He has the makings and history of a fine player, but he simply does not fit with our style and players. To be sold. Which frees up another space.

Matri? Was purchased as a non player and is proving himself as a non player, other than his sterling cameo in the semi final of the coppa italia in Florence. Will be shot in late May.

By my reckoning, twisted as some may deem it, I find that leaves 3 openings in our attacking roster.

So who will fill these gaps??

With two prima punta leaving, it makes sense to conclude we will bring at the very least one of their ilk into the squad.

Simone ZAZA. 23 years old. Very physical, quality left peg. Loves to get stuck in. Enjoying a decent season at Sassuolo. Achieved recognition at international level this term. Some sources say the deal is already done. We signed 50% of the burly frontman in 2013 for 1m, then sold our stake in him a season later for 7.5m, and with that fee came an option to purchase him this Summer for a fixed fee of 15m.

I am unsure if he is presently worth a 15m punt. Yet he knows the league, has done very well indeed in his two seasons in the top flight at a team earmarked for relegation which has excelled beyond expectations. I like him. He reminds me of Vialli. Could be a wonderful signing.

His team-mate at Sassulo,20 year old Domenico BERARDI, is a player many juventini roared for last Summer. As with Zaza, he is now into his second season in the upper tier and progressing very well indeed.

9 goals and 6 assists from 24 appearances is a sterling return for a youngster at any side, let alone one at Sassuolo. His 9 yellow cards and 1 red suggest either that he is a monster who loves to hack or he is simply ultra keen and determined. A mixture of the two is preferable, but we must make allowances for the young-uns!

He has speed, delightful flair, quality on the ball and is adding – slowly but surely – a sense of awareness to his game. The player who is most at home roaming out wide, was described last year by Arrigo Sacchi as…

“a player of great talent, a modern footballer who plays for the team all over the field. The liveliness, intuition, temperament, strength combine with a good technique.”

We bought 50% of his playing rights in 2013. Since then he has remained at Sassuolo. What he would cost now is very tricky to ponder. However, it seems just a matter of time before he finds himself at Piedmont. One of the finest up and coming talents in Italy. We could do with some invention and flair in the final third, which Berardi brings with spades. Expected cost for the remaining 50% of his registration – 15m. Seems a major upgrade on Coman, and I would hate to see him go to one of our domestic rivals, or worse still, leave Italy. So let us snap him up. Roll the Berardi dice and hope for a six.

Now onto the jewel in the crown…

12 goals and 7 assists in 27 games for the 21 year old Paolo Dybala. The young Argie has had what the cool kids and twitter call a ‘break-out’ season at Palermo. He can dribble, has flair, a wicked eye for goal and…is yet another lefty.

The price would be high high high. Zamparini has openly talked of our interest and also a 40m price tag. Is he worth that??? Not in the slightest. At least, not yet. He could be. Although if we are to nab him, we would have to give them our 50% of very promising defender Edoardo Goldaniga, and also, a large chunk of gold. Expected price – Goldaniga (valued at 5m) + 25-30m.


Our midfield is one of the finest in the world. Many of the teams considered elite, some of which could also be called simply mega rich and able to pay wages well beyond ours means, are openly keen to take Pogba. Less, but still part of a similar crowd of mega rich are keen to take Vidal. And any team aiming for the success on the finest stage would be keen on Marchisio whose heart will seemingly always beat for Juve, and he seems, conspicuously in absence of Pirlo and Pogba, by far our most important player, in any area of the pitch.

Pirlo, at 35 years of age is in the twilight of his career, yet it would be a surprise to see him leave after playing such a prominent role in our wondrous success since his signing in 2011. There are some who suggest that we are a more dynamic outfit with Marchisio in the pivotal role as the fulcrum of our midfield, and there may be some truth to that. However, Pirlo oozes class and a wealth of sparkling experience at the top level. His form this term has been generally of a high quality throughout. It makes little difference whether he is 35 or 25, his game has always been the same. For he does not need to rely upon pace, has creative genius in his mind and boots, can see passes before others have even considered them and due to his high amount of intricate passing is always likely to provide the odd moment of concern when he loses the ball in a key position. He plays the percentages and the percentages, such as his present Whoscored Average Rating of 7.4 paint him as a world class player.

Clearly the biggest threat are the vultures soaring above aiming for the french prodigy’s signature. The club has made it clear that we want him to stay. The player has expressed his desire to stay where he is happy, in Turin. We do not need the money from his prospective sale, so it will come down to the player himself. And with offers of 10m per season after tax as a starting wage, these concerns will continue throughout the year, probably for as long as Pogba stays put.

Next on the list is Roberto Pereyra, who we can sign outright in the Summer for 14m if we wish and the player is in agreement. Deployed as a RWB earlier in the season, he appeared a poor fit for the 3-5-2 system, which is no surprise given his fine efforts at Udinese were as a marauding offensive midfielder high up the field. Since changing the system to a 4-3-1-2 Pereyra has blossomed and is fast becoming a very useful, very quick link between the midfield and attack. He works in the hole with great determination and tidy passing, just needs to add a more clinical edge to his shooting. I expect us to sign him.

Sturaro was brought into the squad in January, earlier than expected due to injuries to our midfield. The little I have seen of him is very promising. And with Pogba out for a fair few weeks yet and Pirlo still to work his way back to match fitness, he has a chance to develop a rapport with his team-mates and gain some very valuable first team experience. He appears very committed in the challenge, quality on the ball with an expansive passing range.

In an ideal world all of those above will stay put. With one left to ponder, who I expect to leave.

Simone Pepe has finally returned to the field, much to the pleasure of fans and team-mates alike. His journey to recovery from long term injury has been long and winding, and he is probably deliriously happy to simply be once again doing what he loves best; playing football. I do not believe that we will renew his contract which expires in the Summer. He has huge heart, some decent technical ability, yet if there is one player in our present midfield ranks who can be improved upon, it is Simone.

Marchisio, Pogba and Vidal can all cover each other’s main positions. With the italian also offering a sturdy alternative to Pirlo as the regista. Sturaro appears a perfect understudy to all of them. So as to what kind of midfielder we need to improve the squad…I am unsure. 26 year old Franco Vazquez at Palermo seems like a very interesting option. The dream signing would be Felipe Anderson. Who at just 21 is fast becoming the hottest property in Serie A. His form has been hugely responsible for Lazio’s fine season. Extremely quick feet, a natural creator and ultra classy dribbler, with a wicked eye for goal. Many teams will be chasing him even now. He is a player who could truly raise our level significantly. The question will be over the price demanded. And also the player’s will, who seems very much at home in Rome. Expected Price – 25-30m.


At 33 years of age, Andrea Barzagli remains a world class stopper. He has been missed this season and the change in our defensive solidity immediately after his return from long term injury has been clear for all to see. Alongside him Chiellini and Bonucci offer outstanding reliability and experience.

Ogbonna has been sparsely used by Allegri, even in Barzagli’s absence, and it seems whilst he hasn’t proven an obvious failure that the coach is no major fan of the former Torino centre-back. Likely to be sold in the Summer.

The main back-up for the central defence of definite worth is Martin Caceres. An injury ravaged campaign should not lead to his departure from the ranks, as he remains a tenacious and pacy back-up at both CB and the RWB/RB positions.

daniel rugani juventus

Daniele Rugani – One of the finest defensive talents Italy has produced for many moons

Replacing Ogbonna will be a player we already own. A 20 year old gifted with maturity and composure which belies his tender age, who has featured in every one of Empoli’s 28 Serie A fixtures this term without yet receiving a single yellow card. Which is staggering whichever way you look at it. His debut season in the top flight has proven astonishing and he will surely make the move to Turin in the Summer with many tipping the youngster to develop into a world class defender for club and country.

The fullback areas are one of the few regions of the roster which seems in great need of renovation. Especially on the left flank.

Conte cunningly re-shaped Asamoah into a LWB during his tenure. The Ghanian had formerly excelled in a dynamic box to box central midfield role before signing for Juve, yet he proved a master stroke on the left flank, with his hard running, brilliant determination and berserker stamina combining perfectly to offer defensive coverage and penetrative probing further up the field. I had hoped that this season would see him given an opportunity to return to his natural central role, but injury put paid to that dream.

A mainstay of our most recent two domestic titles, Asamoah has hardly featured this term. And although he does play at LB for his country, I hope that he will be added to our midfield options next season, for that is where he is at his best.

In his place for much of this campaign came the ultra experienced Patrice Evra. The frenchman has enjoyed a solid debut in our colours, yet hitting 34 in the Summer, the need for pace and stamina in the role of fullback will begin to prove beyond his ageing body. I would be happy for him to stay as he has always been a leader both on and off the field and has a wealth of fine experience at the very top level.

Utility man Simone Padoin, 31, has been used fairly regularly, filling in on either flank with dependability and admirable eagerness. He keeps things simple, rarely attempts anything even loosely related to flair, has average pace, average passing, average tackling, average everything. He lacks the technique to truly push any first XI starters and goes about his business in an orderly fashion at all times. Operating mainly as a back-up fullback, he is a player who we should really be upgrading. For ideally, we require not just a phenomenal first XI, but behind them, a second XI of talented footballers biting at their heels to gain a first team berth. Will possibly head out in the Summer. Yet every team needs a utility jack of all trades player who can be relied upon whenever called from the shadows into the light. Padoin very rarely fails in his given task.

paolo de ceglie leaves juventus

Addio Paolino…

I have long been an ardent critic of Paolo De Ceglie. I recall the Molinaro era, and the rancid despair expressed towards him by the fans. The Good Cristian was hapless when tasked with attacking the flank, his passing was poor and he had the pace of a sloth, yet in his defence, he could defend. He could tackle. He had a basic understanding of positional awareness and his role in the rearguard action…De Ceglie is truly the least talented player I have ever seen in our colours. He is a non footballer. Incapable of passing the ball in a straight line over even several yards, zero positional awareness, awful in the challenge, a lame duck in the air, with his only value found in the small handful of hooked crosses he puts into the box. Paolino possesses great pace and solid heart, yet he is a shocking footballer. I can only imagine we brought him back from financially fucked Parma due to wanting to ensure he remained fit and well looked after with the hope or firm intention of moving him along in the Summer. He simply must leave. Or be terminated.

Lichsteiner has extended his contract, which is welcome news, as other than Ivanovic (at Chelsea) I know no other player superior to the Swiss Locomotive in his RB role. Caceres can offer solid competition yet we had hoped that the Summer signing from Verona, Romulo could present us with an interesting alternative. Unfortunately, injury bothers have restricted the Brazilian to a spectators role, and the chances of us signing him in the Summer appear very slim indeed. At 6m he seems cheap, but why would be spend 6m on a player who has achieved close to zero, through no fault of his own, in his one season on loan at the club?

Finally, at long last, we come to the custodians between the sticks.

santo buffon juventus

Santo Buffon – The legend lives on

Gianluigi Buffon has been in top drawer form for the entirety of the campaign and looks still every bit a world class goalkeeper. At 37 many would suggest its time to look towards the next generation, which has merit, yet whilst Santo Buffon remains one of the best in the business, we are looking at the reserve options.

First presently in line for that role, with his contract ending in the Summer is Marco Storari, who at 38 is no spring chicken. A quality option to call upon when needed, yet I suspect we will not renew his contract. Make way for a young understudy to Buffon.

Most perfectly placed to replace Storari is Juve owned 22 year old Nicola Leali, who after performing heroics in Serie B has suffered greatly in his debut in the top flight as Number One for Cesena. The question remains of whether it is better to leave him where he can play regularly, or will his development be best served training with Buffon and our goalkeeping coaches, and been offered the odd game or three in the coppa or when the Legend is injured? It is tricky a task to judge his development. At Cesena, one of the consistently poorest sides in Serie A, he has been incredibly busy, maintained enough positive performances to own the starting spot between the sticks, yet has conceded a huge haul of goals. I suspect that Juve will see him loaned elsewhere if Cesena go down, or remain put if they somehow survive.


Kingsley Coman – On Loan
Alessandro Matri – Loan ended
Fernando Llorente – 10-15m

Simone Pepe – 0-5m
Simone Padoin – 0-5m
Angelo Ogbonna – 7-10m
Romulo – Loan ended
Paolo De Ceglie – 0-5m

Total transfer fees received – 40m MAX



franco vazquez - juventus  - palermo

Franco Vazquez – the unsung hero behind the Dybala hype

Daniele Rugani – Already owned by Juve
Franco Vazquez – 20m (15m with our 50% of Goldaniga thrown in)
Simone Zaza – 15m
Domenico Berardi – 8m (for his remaining 50%)
Davide Zappacosta – 7m
LB -?
RB -?
GK – ?

8 IN
Transfer Fees Paid – 50m + LB, RB and GK

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