Not since Marchisio have we seen a bona fide home grown star emerge from the youth sector to find a place in the senior side. I could include Giovinco, yet he is long gone, retiring before his time to run rings around the hapless MLS crowd…The wait seems inexorable. Yet have faith, comrades, for I believe we are soon going to begin reaping the rewards of the seeds sewn since Beppe and Fabio were air-dropped into the fray to begin the recovery from the dreadful Secco years.
The senior squad has been totally revamped and is now close to unrecognisable from the stable inherited by the dynamic duo. Yet improving the senior outfit is clearly far easier a task than scouting, signing and developing the next gem in the mega rough at youth level. This is because senior players are signed on the basis of proven quality shown elsewhere, whereas it is a far less certain roll of the dice when it comes to the little ones. A player can appear dazzling at 16, yet by the time he reaches 19, his peers have caught up and his previous sparkle has vanished. So many factors are at play – physical development, coaching, injuries, adjustment to a new city, new culture, guiding forces, true romance. Any one of which can derail the nourishment required for a young starlet to mature into a senior player able to produce such top drawer performances that they earn an opportunity within Allegri’s phalanx.
With success offering ever greater riches, the need to succeed has become extreme at the top level of the game. Each position in the squad is hugely valuable and whilst fighting for honours on many levels we cannot afford to blood youngsters when the stakes are so incredibly high. Hence the loan system. Which Marchisio and Giovinco both utilised before finding a serious chance to impress at Juve. With coaching out of our hands, this opens the possibility of poor management derailing the development of young talent.
New rules come into play from next season onwards, which demand we include 4 players who have spent 3 years between the ages of 16 and 21 in our youth set-up, and 4 players who have spent 3 years in the same period at any Italian club. They need not be Italian.
Presently, only Marchisio meets the first category. The second category is more easily satisfied – Buffon, Bonucci, Zaza, Berardi for example. Which leaves us 3 places to fill. Maximum squad size is 25. Which means we need 3 more players who have spent 3 years between 16 and 21 in our youth sector.
Mirante, who seems a possibility to replace the outgoing Neto, may well be one of those 3. The other two? Audero could come in as a third choice keeper. The final player? I have only a mild inkling, for to sign Alves could negate any chances at first team action for Lirola. Romagna is an option, but as 5th or 6th choice CB his development may be stunted? Yet that moves naturally towards the debate of whether a youngster learns more from training alongside established stars with juve standard coaching or through regular first team football at a lower level of competition and coaching.
There has been major discussion of B teams, which would allow the top sides to deploy a second team in Serie B or below. It seems likely that this will present in a similar fashion to the german league structure wherein these B teams cannot be promoted to the same league as their A team counterparts. The implementation of any such scheme – which I would hugely welcome – is loosely ear-marked for the 17/18 season. Much discussion remains to be had between all clubs affected. For whilst it would suit Juve, what of the teams in Serie B and below? Surely these leagues will need to be expanded, yet by what number? Which sides will be afforded a B team entry?
Regardless of such ideas, we must contend with the present circumstances which means more loans and transfers with first option transfer fees ; which is basically the new co-ownership routine.
I best begin this assuredly lengthy analysis with an outline of the progress of our most likely to succeed players already plying their trade at senior level…
Gabriel Appelt – 22 – CM – Leganes (Segunda Division, Spain)
The arch-angel has been in brilliant form for Leganes who have silenced the doubters through gaining automatic promotion to La Liga. Gabriel has played 40, scored 8 with 4 assists.
Threatened early doors with a thunderous strike from range before poking home the winner in Leganes recent 0-1 victory away to Real Ovideo.
Talks were held in January regarding a full transfer for the loanee which led to a potential EU1m fee which included a first option on his services in the future. Definitely one to keep an eye upon as he will be playing on the big stage next term.
His talents have always seemed geared towards a regista. Strong on the ball, loves to tackle, create, drive forward and support the offence. Progressing well.
Expected Outcome – Too tricky to say. If he impresses in La Liga, perhaps we will bring him home thereafter, or in the least, do a Morata and sign him then sell him for a higher value or in exchange for a more suitable option, in the process establishing a new feeder club routine.
Ouasim Bouy – 22 – CM – Zwolle (EREDIVISIE, Holland)
Finally, the young dutchman has found a season absent of chopping and changing clubs and injury and the result of which has been very promising indeed. Returning to his motherland Bouy has been a mainstay in the Zwolle midfield, who only just missed out on a Europa League place. 8 goals and 14 assists from his 28 games is a wonderful achievement for a player as often deployed as a ball playing centre back as the fulcrum at the base of midfield.
Tested the keeper early, produced a delightful assist for the equaliser, scored a beautiful goal through opening his body and blasting past the keeper in the box and capped a perfect performance with a header for 3-1.
Ouasim was touted as a future star when we signed him from Ajax many moons ago. An ACL injury suffered whilst on loan at Brescia curtailed his journey, after which he has moved from Germany to Greece before finally Holland. With his form excellent throughout this campaign and Raiola as his agent, I see him as a potential Juve option in the future. He has class on the ball, can tackle, create and score. Shares many aspects of his game with Appelt, yet has more technical ability.
Expected Outcome – Another loan beckons, yet as he has progressed, he must either stay at Zwolle or be loaned to a stronger club. Its a shame that he seems out of consideration for the obvious Marchisio opening, yet we also have Mandragora to ponder and perhaps it is prudent to leave him where he is developing well enough.
Mame Thiam – 23 – LW – Zulte FC – (Jupiler Pro League, Belgium)
Senegalese front man Big Mame has been enjoying himself in Belgium, his lightning pace and eye for goal leading to 9 strikes and 3 assists from his 29 outings. His side finished 6th before tumbling out of the final stages to Anderlecht.
Expected Outcome – Loan to a Serie A side or continued loan in Belgium.
Tasos Donis – 19 – CF/SS – Lugano (Swiss Super League)
Former primavera star, Donis took his time to make inroads into the first team of Lugano, yet has since proved his worth this calendar year. 9 goals and 7 assists from 32 games is a fair return for a youngster. Clearly he needs more time to develop and as he has found form in Switzerland it may be best to keep him there, if a Serie B club cannot be found.
Unfortunately his side were pipped at the post in the Super Cup final (which would have led to Europa league participation), yet still secured their league survival
Expected Outcome – Remain at Lugano or Serie A/B loan.
Of our other loanees plying their trade in foreign pastures…
Vykintas Slivka (21) Den Bosch (Juplier League) – CM – Played 32, scored 3, assists 2.
Joel Untersee (22) FC Vaduz (Super League) – RB – Played 22 – 2 assists.
Zoran Josipovic (20) FC Aarau (Super League) – CF – Played 28, 6 goals.
Nico Hidalgo (24) Granada B (Spanish 3rd tier) – RM – Played 32, 4 goals.
Alhassane Soumah (20) Videton (Hungary top flight) – CF – Played 16, 1 goal.
Vajebah Sakor (20) Valarenga (Norway top flight) – CM – Played 12, 1 goal, 1 assist.
Younes Marzouk (20) Westerlo (Juliper League) – CF – Played 2
Marcelo Djalo (22) Murcia (Spain 3rd tier) – CB – Played 5, 1 goal
Albert Roussos (20) Panthrakikos Komotini (Greek Super League) – CM/RM/RB – Played 4
Laurenţiu Branescu (22) Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus) – GK – Played 4
Alberto Gallineta (24) Naxaar Lions (Malta) – GK – Played 12….Conceded 41! There must be some mistake…? Unfortunately not. For the consecutive 8-0 poundings against the mighty Hibernians FC and Balzan Youth are enough proof of surely one of the worst campaigns of any keeper of any era. Not much hope for Alberto!
Moving back to Italy…
Nicola Leali – 23 – GK – Frosinone
(old video yet offers a valuable glimpse of his talents)
It was a tough season for the young pretender to Buffon’s crown, yet one which offered plenty of practice as plucky Frosinone put up a half decent fight against the drop, which unfortunately proved fruitless. From our perspective it can only be a positive experience for Nicola to have been the ever present number one for the vast majority of the season in the top flight. It seems that the player – understandably – is keen on bedding down at a club, rather than hopping each season to new pastures.
Expected outcome – Deportivo La Coruna, Atalanta, Empoli and Fiorentina have all been linked with the shot stopper. Most likely he will move on loan with the right to purchase, and possibly our right to counter that purchase or retain first option on his signature for the future.
Marcel Buchel – 25 – CM – Empoli
The Lichtenstein international produced a solid 2016, breaking into the first team and making 10 appearances before the curtains closed on the Serie A road-show.
Expected outcome – Sale for 2-5m, loan with right to purchase or used as a makeweight in a deal for Saponoara!
Luca Marrone – 25 – CM/DM – Verona – 25 appearances, 1 goal and 5 assists.
Back to playing regularly but sent down with Verona, Luca will be looking to find another top tier club to continue his career. Rumours abound of Donadoni’s eagerness to take him to Bologna. He looked a fine player in the making during his time with Juve, comfortable in the Bonucci role as a ball playing CB yet at his best in central midfield.
Expected outcome – Loan to Serie A side. Or sale with first option/ set transfer fee.
Frederico Mattiello – 20 – RB – Verona
After recovering from a brutal break of the leg delivered by perennial pigfucker Radja Nainggolan in early 2015, the lightning of disaster struck yet again in October of the same year when the highly promising Mattiello received a terrible knock to his ankle during a training challenge which yet again fractured the right tibia. The season has since been one of recovery and recuperation and we can only hope that such trauma has not ruined his career before it has truly begun. Sincerely I wish the youngster well and hope beyond all else that wherever he ends up next season he finds an end to his ongoing injury nightmare.
Prior to his appalling 2015, Frederico had represented Italy at U16, U17 and U20 level.
Alberto Brignoli – 24 – GK – Sampdoria
Unable to dislodge the highly experienced Viviano, Alberto managed just the one token appearance this season, against his parent club in which he performed far better than the 5-0 scoreline suggested.
Expected outcome – SPAL, newly promoted to Serie B appear favourites to sign him on loan as first choice for next term.
Dropping down to Serie B…
Too many to contend with in-depth, so I will adopt a quick fire effort –
Son of former AC Milan poacher, Simone Ganz has forged a solid 15/16 campaign in front of goal and seems possibly heading to join Cagliari after their promotion to Serie A…Pol Garcia is interesting Avellino…Mandragora, a player I was keen to see head to Turin, is blushing at the covetous advances of Sassuolo (where he would head as part of the Berardi deal, fixed price buy back fee) and less enthusiastic about Bologna…Ambitious Avellino are gunning for Mattia Vitale as well as Primavera shot-stopper Audero…Cagliari are keen to retain Andres Tello, yet Empoli may also throw their name in the hat…Magnusson has made the Iceland squad for the EUROs…
Other than which the printing press has as of yet avoided consulting the tea leaves on the remaining starlets. No doubt there will be plenty of movement, all of which I will cover before the new season begins.
As with all our loanees, the very least we can hope for is their selection, and by and large, far more than few are playing regularly, which bodes well for the future, in terms of their development and our ability to offer their services to secure any blossoming talents which emerge nearby.
Finally the primavera…another novella to be conjured! For it has been a superb season for Grosso and his young lions. Which deserves more than merely rumours and stats.
We won the Viareggio tournament, reached the final of the coppa primavera, topped our league campaign group for the scudetto then reached the final only to lose on penalties 7-6 to Roma. So close to the treble. Which comes as a surprise, solely due to the my lack of faith in dear Fabio, whose managerial acumen is very much a work in progress. Regardless, as I have mentioned elsewhere many times – since beginning my focus on the youth sector 5 years ago, I have seen bright flashes in the pan, yet never a sizeable bunch of very promising youngsters coming through the ranks side by side. Until this season.
Brilliant opener from Kastanos, the Cypriot regarded as one of the finest ever to emerge from the island nation, picked up at 15 for the tidy sum of 100k. Yet back to the match…Del Favero was at fault for the equaliser, poor handling offering an easy tap in for 1-1. Czech wonderboy Macek – who set up the first, won the penalty with a rather theatrical dive, to allow our Argie Vadala to convert for 2-1. Even more soft was the penalty awarded to Palermo, with Severin winning the ball cleanly, but the ref seeing otherwise. 2-2!…Heroics from Del Favero kept the scores level before Di Massimo won then converted from the spot the winner for a splendid victory and shiny piece of silverware to add to museum!
The pick of the bunch through the course of a magnificent campaign have been Macek, Clemenza, Di Massimo, Cassata, Lirola, Pozzebon, Favilli, Kastanos, Blanco, Audero and Romagna. Which is not to lessen the impact of the rest of the squad. I sincerely believe that some of these players have the potential to aim for the senior squad, yet must proceed along the traditional rites of passage and prove their mettle with the big boys en-route to glory.
Also worth a mention is 16 year old Bioty Kean. The Italian born Ivory Coast boy wonder has made waves this season, scoring at a phenomenal rate (20 in 26 games), turning out for the U19s aged just 15, moving up the ranks of the Italian national youth sides, and continuing his outstanding form (3 in 4 for the U16, then 5 in 8 for the U17). The kid is clearly something special. Unfortunately, his agent is Mino Raiola, which works both for and against us. And whilst his father and the club wish for Bioty to progress to the U19s for next season, wheeler and dealer supreme Raiola is advising him to hold out for a secured move to foreign pastures before signing his first professional contract.
The only negative I can find from the in-house youth sector endeavour is the ACL injury suffered by Luca Clemenza, who had been a vital part of our success. At his age, the recovery should be certain, and I will be interested to see whether we find him a loan club in Serie B after he has worked his way back to the field, for he was in brilliant form in his attacking midfielder role up until he found ligament Hades.
It seems a former life when I mentioned the new home grown requirements of next season and beyond, yet it makes perfect sense to revisit that former TGP and ponder our options…
Reports suggest that it is close to certain that Neto will be sold or loaned at fixed purchase fee, and in his place as vice-Buffon will perhaps come Mirante. Which will be 2 of the 4 who have spent enough time in our nursery to meet the new regulations. I am fine with Mirante, who is clearly capable and highly experienced. Bologna however, appear understandably keen to retain his services, or are simply holding out for the best deal possible.
Talk of Audero coming in as number three has been leaning towards a preference for his development to be better served by playing regularly elsewhere. Instead, Carlo Pinsoglio could come in as our number 3. A player of proven ability in the second tier, too long in the fang to potentially develop into a world beater so why not bring him home eh?
The fourth player could be Luca Marrone. Returning from relegated Verona. Able to deputise in the regista role and at the heart of the defence. It may well stunt his progress, yet this leads to the old argument of whether a player learns more from regular first team action for a lesser side or through playing a bit part role at Juve and training alongside the elite. A discussion for another occasion, or below!
Other the Marrone, the longer shots are Romagna and Lirola. Both defenders have excelled this term, especially Lirola. However, with Alves due to sign and Lichsteiner our mainstay, the Spaniard would see little action and I would prefer to see him playing senior football week in, week out. Romagna is a more interesting option, though if we sign Mustafa or Benatia, the youngster would be 6th choice centreback, which doesn’t bode well for first team action.
Marrone, Mirante and Pinsoglio seem the wisest choices, taking into account experience, age and the need for other options to prove that they can step up to senior level and continue to shine.
Most promising talents –
Just when I thought I had crawled over the finish line, in last position, I see the umpire urge me on, the spectators dismayed at my apparent demise before…before what eh??? Well to pre-empt the inevitable discussion of promoting from within, I will paint the bare bones of of the thing, no doubt repeat some of the above and allow others to add their own flesh.
Squad size is maximum 25. Which must include 4 players who have spent 3 years in our youth sector between the ages of 16 and 21, and 4 players who have spent the same at any italian club. The former will be in bold, the latter underlined.
GK – Buffon, Audero
CB – Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonucci, Rugani
LB – Evra, Sandro, Lirola
RB – Lichsteiner, Alves
DM/CM – Marchisio, Pogba, Lemina, Khedira, Padoin, Asamoah, Sturaro, Marrone
CF – Mandzukic, Dybala, Zaza, Berardi
It is close to a done deal for Berardi. Hernanes seems to be on the move to China. Neto is also to leave to seek regular first team football and as for Morata…I find it hard to believe that the club have any eagerness to retain him if his comments of late are accurate, for we seek only the players who have juve first and foremost in heart, mind and ambition. Pereyra is likely also on his way out after failing to recapture even a semblance of form after returning from injury early 2016. Which leaves us a squad of 21 players, 4 spaces left, still needing to fill at least 2 of those spaces with players who have spent 3 years between 16 and 21 in our own youth ranks.
(…as much as it will break many a heart, Padoin may also be departing after several years of sterling service to the cause. He barely featured last term, despite maintaining full fitness and he may well seek a new adventure whilst still capable of proving useful at a high level, which would free up another vital spot in the squad where we can expect to improve, especially in terms of technique.)
The only obvious absence in the squad are natural wingers. Who can add width from the midfield regions, hug the flank, yet we have the width from our full-backs, and higher up the field Dybala and especially Berardi, can naturally stretch the play wide up top and perhaps a little deeper (moreso in Dybala’s case).
There is also – until Marchisio returns from long term injury – a hole in the DM role. Appelt is staying in Spain with Leganes to continue his adventure and sample the delights of la liga. Bouy is an option, yet I do not believe he had three years in our youth sector. Which leaves Luca Marrone.
Audero seems a solid choice for third choice keeper. So in he comes. Which leaves one spot still remaining of the home grown at Juve flock required.
Lirola has been the star of the primavera and is ever more spoken of as possessing enough talent to move seamlessly into senior football. Yet we will then have 3 RBs. The thinking may be that he can learn his craft more wholesomely through training with two of the best in the game, Lichsteiner and Alves, perhaps be offered the odd start in the coppa italia and assuredly, one of the two seniors will be injured or suspended at various times during the season.
Had Clemenza avoided the ACL injury, perhaps he would have been considered, yet this is sadly not the case.
Lirola, Marrone, Audero seem the most obvious choices. Which meets all our requirements in terms of the new regulations and leaves us just 2 spaces to fill in the squad. One of which must be an experienced back-up to Buffon. One spot left. Unless we sell.
The situation therefore, due to the new regulations, appears rather more tricky than first glance suggests. Beppe and Fabio have a huge amount of work to do in terms of balancing on one hand improving the squad and on the other meeting our quota of home grown players.
If Mirante is signed, it frees up an extra spot in the place of Marrone. Though I would like to see him given a chance to impress.
I am of course interested in your own suggestions, yet make them viable. Think about the quality in front of them in the squad in terms of experienced, proven talent at the top level and the present make-up of the roster. Then conjure your 25.
And now, with the wind wailing and my left ear burning – which the folklore from my motherland suggests someone is thinking of me in a loving or fond manner – I must smooth out any creases and hit PUBLISH. Return in the morning hopeful of comments and discussion to join and rub virtual shoulders with others of this wonderful community.
My apologies for the lack of in-depth reportage on each and every player mentioned. Truly I despise presenting solely stats, for the game is never valuably analysed from mere numbers, yet the youth sector is huge and consider that I neglected to mention anything of our plethora of players plying their trade below the second domestic tier…for instance – Jimmy the Fox (Giacomo Volpe), the 20 year old goal-keeper who was awarded young player of the year at Serie D side Gubbio where he was first choice throughout their promotion campaign.
Bear in mind that our seniors trounced the league and coppa italia despite dealing with the departure of three world class players and then succumbing to a season of consistent injuries squad wide, and our youth team were mere whiskers away from achieving a memorable treble. Both the present and future is clearly of sublime promise.
Looking forward to joining you below.
So in short, every team must have 8players in their squad who have spent at least 3years in an Italian academy, half of them from your own academy, the remainder of any other Italian academy?
Do senior years count too? Are there any rules that specify the amount of Italians( and naturalised Italians?)
On the topic of what is better: play regularly at a “worse” team or train with proven champions, I think most of all the personality and character of the youngster counts.
There are players who simply dont like training, thus they would obviously benefit more from playing.
Then you have the type of player who likes to build up slowly and can learn by watching and mimicking others, for them I would think training at a big club is better.
Besides that, how well do they adapt to a different city/team/culture? How big is their drive for regular playing time? Are they mature enough to accept guidance from mentors? How well do they deal with setbacks? And so on and on…
And then one more factor to think of, which is that training only gets you so far, it is not a replacement for actual experience.
You simply need to play real games in order to get better, most of all on a mental level.
Just look at how the senior squad fared in the CL the past few seasons. We turned from frightened rabbits to proud warriors.
This is of course also due to better players arriving, but I am focusing on core players like Marchisio, Chiellini, Bonucci and such. Experience made them better, something they could not achieve by training alone.
So therefore I would conclude: training with champions and not playing much is good if it is limited in time and the player is patient enough.
But playing real games at a low rank team is the better option in the long run. For those who are flexible and ambitious enough, I would dare say it is essential to choose this path.
Great article by the way TGP, but you are used to the praise already, so I skipped it at the start of my comment, hah!
Many thanks for the input as always, comrade…Indeed, those precious 3 years must be found between the ages of 16 and 21.
Conte must take much of the credit for imbuing in the newcomers and reviving in the old stalwarts the belief and fierce will to succeed, also the arrogance. Yet it was Allegri who unshackled the squad. For he loosened the rigid nature of the Conte system, allowed and encouraged players to express themselves how they felt fit for the moment in the game. And to look to each other and themselves to succeed, not to Conte as their paternal master.
If you are good enough, you are old enough and despite the protestations of some, we have a great mix of youth and experience in the squad. People seem to forget that Morata, Dybala, Pogba, Sturaro, Zaza and Rugani are all youngsters with plenty of room to learn and develop further. We have also invested handsomely and intelligently in the best up and coming talent domestically and that we can attract from afar, and whilst we can afford them no space in our squad, we find them clubs where we believe they can prosper and develop.
As much as the new regulations are tricky to negotiate, they clearly have the aim of improving la nazionale. Which is presently in a woeful state I believe, partly due to the huge amount of foreigners bought in on the cheap and deployed in place of italians. I like italian teams to play italian players. And its an extra reason for me to hugely support the BREXIT, for the free movement of trade has played its part in diluting not just cultural traditions but also the purity of traditional club sides with a back bone of home grown talent making up the bulk of their ranks.
This is something I admire about Juve in turn, for we have always tried to maintain a strong italian core. It bothers me to see teams with a starting XI absent of any italians. They have become something else, and with foreign ownership creeping into Serie A, something had to be done to stem the tide. I believe that the champions league demands comparable quotas of home grown players. 8 per squad. With the same divide between 4 home grown at the club and 4 home grown in the country the club plays in domestically.
Will move onto your hitmen piece in the near future, my friend!
I agree with most of what you say again mate. Not sure what Brexit has to do with it though! ( I think its a bad idea to leave the EU, but thats An entirely different topic ofc)
I am very optimistic about the new rules, as they might lead to a renewed Serie B system with youth teams included( Juve B, Milan B and so on)
And of course, it is of great support for La Nazionale
Free movement of trade and people within the ‘EUROZONE’ affected football in a huge way with the Bosman ruling many moons ago, for good and ill. It was the beginning of a completely new system, which has changed the face of european football, not so much at the top, but lower down, which thereafter affects the leagues as a whole. For example…In England, to gain a work permit as a player from a non-EU country, a player needs to have played a certain % of games for their national side in order to gain a work permit, which is supposed to confirm proven ability, they are not part of our EU club but they have proven they can potentially add something to our club. Whereas movement of players (of labour and people)within the EURO zone there are no such requirements. This is the main trade tariff which affects the movement of non-EU players moving from non-EU countries to EU countries.
As for a full roster toward next season, bringing the new rules into account and adding in a bit of Fantacalcio, I am thinking of:
GK: Buffon, Audero, Mirante
Defenders: Lichtsteiner, Alves, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Rugani, Sandro and Evra. (4 wide players, 4 central players)
Midfield: Marchisio, Pogba, Khedira, Lemina, Sturaro, Asamoah, Pjanic
Attack: Dybala, Zaza, Mandzukic, Berardi.
This leaves room for 3 more players. Most of all, I would add a winger and a striker. The last addition could go anywhere for me, except a keeper of course.
From the top of my head, I think of Candreva/SES for a winger and one of our own Primavera for the striker rol, Pozzebon or Favili I guess?
And Lirola as the last player, to make sure we tick off all the required boxes.
Morata is one of few players in the squad capable of driving towards goal at pace with the ball at his feet. Dybala is the most comparable in this aspect, yet far more expansive a player, pogba also loves to dribble. Other than which??? Sandro is the only one who sticks out. We will be looking to replace Morata with an experienced forward I suspect. Not a primavera player!
Berardi is not a natural dribbler. He is very intelligent with the ball, yet seems more prone to playing the ball than dribbling past opponents. Pjanic will of course help! Yet still, Madzukic and Zaza are loosely similar, as in their game is fairly singular, whereas we have no back-up for Dybala. Berardi is a very different kind of player.
Fully agreed, but I dont know any striker who is: similar to Morata in characteristics, good enough to be/challenge a starter and financially a realistic target. Thats why I opted for a Primavera player, who would just lack the required level right now.
Who would you go for? With Ibra leaving PSG I doubt Cavani is available. In Serie A only Higuain would fit and he is also unavailable, at least for us he is.
Lukaku? Too expensive. Batshuayi maybe? Perhaps too green, too much of a risk.. Lacazette? Good enough?
Berardi is also the reason I think we need another winger to complement him, unless we shift Sandro or Alves forward to be that other winger.
Pjanic would be such a great addition..
With Koeman now at the toffees I assume Lukaku is off limits, and regardless, too expensive, though he wants and feels he deserves european football, so he remains…an option. Batshuyai seems more likely but I like the idea of a big man as a reference point to battle hard and lay the ball off a la Mandzukic so he would play second fiddle to Dybala and where are we to fit Berardi. I have not given Berardi much thought as of yet, but he seems a determined character and will not make the move unless he feels he can stake a claim for a place in the first XI which changes much, as does the potential purchase of Pjanic. The Italian is at his best as a wide forward, which leads to the balancing of a comparable character on the left…Could Sandro play that role? I believe so, yet he can also defend and is the natural successor to Evra as a flying wingback in both a 352 and 4 X X. Perhaps Berardi may be morphed into a more natural trequartista, play back-up/ challenger to Pjanic? Or perhaps Pjanic will be deployed early doors as a regista similar to Pirlo?
I know a little of the Marseille BatMan, far less of Lacazette though I like his name!hohoho
Yes, agreed, Pjanic would raise the technical level of the squad instantly….
Gabriel has had a fantastic season, he has really come to light in the second division. I expect us to sell him, probably between 6-10 million euros. Not bad considering we only paid a few million for him.
Tello – was one of the best players for Cagliari first half of the season until he got that stupid red card. I think he has world class potential (that scissor kick omg). If he gets first division experience I have no doubt he will continue to be a standout. Granted he is only 19!! Super exciting player.
I dont see why we should loan Ganz out. I wish they’d sell zaza and give this kid a chance. Zaza hasn’t really excelled this season either. I don’t think he is anything above average. If we can get 25mill for him, it would be a steal. In all honesty Zaza is just another fringe player…… along the lines of Borriello, Quagliarella, Destro etc… He has scored a total of 8 goals in 24 games, really nothing out the ordinary. Why not give Ganz a chance? These aren’t exactly eye catching numbers.
I cant wait to see Rogerio and Pereira at work next season as well. I hope they are loaned out rather than sent to the primavera. Each of them has cost over a million, it would be a waste to see them at the lowest level.
Zaza had the best goals per minutes ratio among all our strikers, he deserves to stay if he wants to, and he can fight even harder for a starting spot with us next year. He is much better than all the strikers you’ve listed, he just needs more discipline, and he is still too raw. Yes 8 goals in 24 games looks average, but if you followed Juve in 2015/16 you’d know the story behind those numbers.
Agreed. He only started 5 League games
Ooo come on he had one deflection vs Napoli, the only meaningful thing he did all year. At best he averages one goal every 2 and half games, every 133 minutes to be exact. This really isn’t eye catching stuff in my opinion. If this is the best he could do than I’m sorry it isn’t good enough. Remember how Juve wants to be elite in Europe? Zaza won’t get us there my friend. All I said was Ganz has more potential in my opinion. What goals did za za score in C.L? Coppa Italia? National team? Again just one deflection vs Napoli… If we are ever to become elite I think we need to recognize real talent from fringe players.
Edit – dybala had a better minute per goal ratio.
I see your points my friend, I just think Zaza deserves more credit than he received and I just disagree about Ganz, I don’t think he should be a Juve sub next season. (I think he needs a season of Serie A experience elsewhere)
Zaza was most often used as impact sub, not starting striker. This has a big influence on his goalscoring (or goalratio, but I don’t really use that stat)
He scored important goals though. The one against Napoli. One against Sevilla in the 2-1 win. The 1-0 win over Torino in the Coppa. All good goals. For Italy as well, he is the kind of striker Conte likes.
It’s just his abysmal discipline record that makes him look like a worse player than he is. He is far better than the names you mentioned
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Zaza as well. I hope I’m not coming off as overly negative. My only statement is that, we want to be an elite team. Therefore we need elite players and in doing so I think Juve’s transfers should be smaller but more quality. I like the bayern approach, spend money but buy quality. We don’t need anymore average players in my opinion.
Well I just wanted to show you Zaza is not a bad striker to have in the squad. Given the limited time he played, he wasnt so bad. He isnt a Dybala or Morata, but you cant have 5 Dybala’s either eh!
I think Juve is doing that now, Morata, Dybala and now Pjanic! Give it some more time mate, we will get there. Just 5 years ago we werent even competing in Europe anymore.
I would only sell Zaza if there is good profit in it. If not, he is fine here. Its already hard to replace Morata, so why throw away Zaza for no good reason too?
Ganz scored 16 with 3 assists from 35 games in Serie B last term. In Zaza’s last term at the same level he scored 18 with 4 assists from 36 games. Very similar stats, from perhaps very similar players. Neither have shown prolific goal scoring ability yet there is more to the game of a modern striker than scoring goals.
And that goal against Napoli pretty much won us the title in my opinion. A slight deflection indeed, but all made my Zaza’s endeavour and strength and power.
It appears that Pereira is off to Empoli…
I was unsure if Rogerio was to remain at Sassuolo. Again, he may well be used as part of the Berardi deal, as perhaps will also be the case with Caprari and who knows, maybe Ganz? yet Empoli are another club with whom we have friendly relations and are interested in a number of our players, with our own focus seemingly upon solely Saponara. Who would be a great back-up/ challenger for Pjanic.
As mentioned…Gabriel fee was loosely agreed in January for EU1m. With first option on his sale from Leganes included in the deal. I have found nothing of yet of any change to that, yet the move merely offers more incentive to his club to play him, offer him the exposure and then make a sizable profit when we purchase him to offer a chance in our squad or sell on for a higher price.
Finding myself surrounded by piles of work in the office, I must hold fire and return with zeal in the darkness this evening. To add more to this and other welcome threads…
Great piece of writing TGP,
I have to say your analysis is very refreshing, infromative and encouraging. It is a very concrete and well structured analysis enhanced by your unique writing signature. I actually admire how you manage to keep track of the development of so many prospects. It is a very commendable task since there in our youth development lies much of our future success and that of The Azzurra.
My biggest takeaway comes from your introduction when stating we may be starting to reap the rewards sewn by Beppe and Fabio. I totally agree with you since just as the 1st squad has been exploding (last year) and climbing back again (this year) to new heights cashing out club efforts into achievements, I think the youth sector success just confirms that the club is doing more than a couple things right.
I was a bit worried the new squad rules would throw overboard the odds of a succesful transfer season -Although I am in to raising Italy´s competitiveness-, and that they would also derail Juve´s assault of Europe in the short term. But when I look at the great strides we have made since 2010 i acknowledge great achievements aren´t built overnight, and that our great management professionals are working tirelessly to adorn our beloved Madama back to her former beauty. So I lean towards looking at the silver lining that our project is one solid in the long term, although I have faith (God willing) sooner rather than later she will have the world lay again at her feet
On a side note: I was shocked and saddened to find about Mattiello´s grievances of which I was not aware till now, got to pray for a turnaround for him, I actually owned him as a sub in my FIFA 15 squad back in the day.
TGP I have something lingering in my mind, a question. Why has not the Dani Alves acquisition been made official yet? wasn´t that supposed to be worked out before June 5th? last thing I read was we had a verbal agreement but that it was going to made official yesterday!
i´ll reiterate great work TGP
Brilliant to find your presence, my friend. Thank you for reading and commenting. I always enjoy your very unique turn of phrase which brims with passion and devotion to the cause as well as dignity. And is inspiring.
UEFA impose almost the exact same rules on teams entering european competition, other than it is perhaps 15-21 as the period when 3 years must be played at the club or another club from the same league, so essentially, it shouldn’t have any bearing on our european competitiveness.
Other than the UEFA youth league, which I neglected to mention as we were once again rather dire, the primavera were superb in all competitions entered. I am unsure of the natural progression through the ranks in other leagues, as in England I focus on the top tier alone as well as keeping abreast of the wretched trials and tribulations of my beloved Gills! All I can say of our own set-up is that the primavera changes hugely each season. There will be a massive influx from the U17 Allievi squad…who won their league and will face Palermo in the finals this coming Saturday. Again, success is there to see clearly.
Do not worry about Alves. He played for the full 90 in Brazil’s 7-1 mauling of Haiti…which reminds me of Hilarious Clinton, the new US President decided many moons ago long before the punch and judy show began repeat performances on TV for the masses to believe that their vote counts for anything whatsoever. The naivety is staggering as it is horrifying, yet when a man like 50 cents, bereft of any talent, famous for being shot, can make millions and become a global star, its clear that we are living in the Age of Mong. For to believe that a regime of collected corporate powers would allow their profit margins to be dictated by the people is laughable. Clinton’s efforts in Haiti are in line with US policy of fucking over latin america and the central americas in varying degrees of savage hostility for many moons indeed. Pretty much since not long after the end of WW2…I was red faced with my crimson rivers aflame with rage today in the workplace as I endured a colleague suggesting I had been spoon fed too much western propaganda to believe Chavez was a hero of his people, for the Venezualans are now starving en-masse. I tried to explain the gargantuan achievements of nation wide improved health care, education, life expectancy, especially for the poorest of people, and that since Chavez was put down (that is another story in itself) the same powers have worked tirelessly to reclaim the government, take control of supply, cripple the country through the obviously intentional massive reduction in the price of oil (In cohorts with their middle eastern client states, the massive drop in $ per barrel has affected Iran, Russia and Venezuala all of whom are enemies of the US) and return the country to an impoverished state where only the elite, those connected to the multi national corporations, enjoy a high standard of living, at the expense of the masses…yet he was having none of it, spouting of Chavez as an idiot, a fraud and laughing at my suggestion of US multi national corporate control doing what it has done for decades, fucking over the poor to line their own pockets with gold…
The conversation moved onto comrade Vlad (of course) and as my interlocutor’s stance was of Russia as a major threat to the world, I asked him what the devil he made of US/NATO invading Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria through proxy and then through their own planes and troops, bombing yemen, pakistan and many other places no doubt when Russia had headed into South Ossetia to make small fry of the Georgian (US supported) slaughter, other than which moved to save Syria. All he had to say in response was that Putin invaded Ukraine! And stole Crimea…indeed, Russia are at fault for having 25000 troops in Crimea legally, and protecting their own military bases which serve their Black Sea Fleet and following the will of the Crimean people? I do not see them at fault, nor do the Crimeans. Only those in the West, who seem blind to war after war after war fought for corporate interests, which are fine and dandy as our governments are always the good guys, no matter how many millions suffer and perish…
When the chitchat turned to Gaza and he showed respect for the Zionists, I knew I had to leave the scene…for my eagerness to cut off his face was becoming too great to bear.
Yet where was I eh??? Indeed, Juve…although there is a slight connection for the Good Colonel Gadaffi had stakes in our club! He even had one of his sons placed at…Perugia with Maradona as a technical aide and hohohohohoho…Ben Johnson as a trainer! I am uncertain of the credibility of the reports of this, yet its an amusing story…Yet that returns me to that vicious pigfucker wench Clinton…’We came, We saw, He died’ she remarked after the leader of yet another sovereign secular non aligned to US interests state was brutally ended. A leader who was indeed eccentric, prone to lunatic whims, yet whilst affording himself carte blanche to play, he also ensured free education, free health care, close to free petrol and electricity, housing for new families and was working hard to create a stronger, non dependent on western hand-outs African Unity. The problem with secular societies which work to subsidise the necessities for survival is that the multi nationals and banks behind them make no profit. We destroy countries we cannot rape and pillage through other means. In the process making huge profits for the military industrial complex. One after the other…yet the momentum has been halted in Syria, thanks to Russia, and to a lesser degree the Kurds, Hizbollah and Iran.
I believe you may find some value in this, my friend…
One of my more positive non juve focused efforts I quite like of recent years.
Right. back to Juve…as the vodka flows…and I shake my head clear of global affairs.
Yes yes! I sincerely believe that the crop of primavera players due to head out to senior football include some capable of returning to the fold in the senior squad. As I outlined, spaces in our own senior squad are few and far between and I see no obvious areas where any of our youngsters could come in and be given the playing time to prove their value whilst learning their trade in training from the established stars.
If Mandragora had not broken his foot I suspect he would have been considered over the Summer, for the regista role. as a back-up. This may still be the case. Other than which, Lirola will barely feature, neither Audero, only Marrone or Mandragora could expect some playing time. And I lean towards the stance of Belgian Juventino in that players need to play to add steel to whatever they can learn in training alongside experienced professionals.
This idea, expectation of a conveyor belt of talent moving from youth to senior is bizarre. I have seen this happen twice in my life of following continental football, once with the Manchester United team of the late 90s and onwards, and then with Barca. Other than which…?
I have total faith in the club. We are very much on the right path.
Send word to email@example.com Seb…I am keen to know more of your story from away from the screen.
Hey there TGP.
Thank you TGP for taking interest in the person beyond just the one commenting at the site, I have to say on my own I am also intrigued by the background of the man behind the poetry and the thorough football (and now add to it geopolitical) analysis, as much as I am also also intrigue about Rav and other JuveFC crew because much to the contrary of what I expected when first visiting JuveFC is not just a purely Italian (in English language) or a British or European Juve site but more like a global (In English language) Juve site which I really value because it shows how ample global charm our beautiful Madama has.
This response from you shocked me a bit, but was also very interesting, because I don´t recall noticing your interest in global affairs as much as today (Although I think there must be at least another comment where I did read similar lines from you). Since you covered so many topics I am not sure what I´d reply, While I acknowledge there´s plenty of things I am no expert at. I have my own take on life and current events, but I don´t how convenient it would be if you actually started me on that Lol (Specially since I have found it quite hard to write short comments at the site).
I checked the link you suggested. I read the post (Just wanted to confirm, did you write that one? It had no signature) although as I am writing this I found out there are links to more posts, so I´ll keep checking it out. Excuse me if my reply is rather bland or light as of yet.. As I was saying I read the post, it was very very interesting indeed, I can´t help but to agree with much of what it suggests.
On general terms I am not necessarily pro or against Capitalism, or for that matter Socialism. I am not for “good systems” like democracy, or for “bad systems” like anarchy, or plutocracy, and am not for any societal view contrarian to those, mainly because they are just paper theories, they are all just titles, they are all just talk, which although in paper seem wonderful, idyllic, heavenly social contracts they can be, circumvented, altered, tinkered, molded, bent and even neglected in practical terms to favor more resolved, ruthless, rapacious, cunning, opportunistic and plain lucky (in their own eyes) individuals with marked personal objectives and interests.
And yes it is true football distracts you from the world you live in and many take advantage of it, still soccer just as any other thing which exists God created it for us to enjoy it, so I am not going to let some pseudo-power to inhibit me from loving my beloved Madama :P. And yes also I am totally convinced our (De)civilization should be a helluva lot different, that we are capable of something more, of much more, of something better, but although I may not like much of it in many respects I think not only of `how, or what it should be´ but I also have my own thoughts on why this world is the way it is (And WE, the best football team in the world happen to own only 2 UCL 😛 -On that sense we both know the world is not what it should be-).
So to end this post i´ll just look forward to having you hear from me at the address you provided. I´ll also be checkin Uruguay vs Venezuela game (which will be played on a city I happened to once live in), and see what is it about Cavani you all happen to like so much about him for him to be at Juve 😛 (I have never gone nuts over him lol).
Hope you keep enjoying your vodka, but do it safely alright? You´d not want the world´s supply to run dry right? It would become too expensive to buy, and God knows we all hot blooded southern want at least one sip of it too at least every now and then.
Excellent article TGP. It was very informative, and thanks for letting us all keep track of the development of our boys playing away from Juventus.
In regards to the question of whether it is better to loan out a player and let them gain experience in a lower league, or have them stay with us and while not playing, be able to learn from our stars isn’t a simple a question to answer. I have to echo the thoughts of BelgianJuventino below, he made some excellent points. Basically it depends on the player in question, and then a team of people, including the player themselves, need to come to a conclusion regarding what is best for their own future. In most cases though, I would say a young player is better off being loaned out to a smaller club where they can perform consistently, while still being helped on aspects of their game by senior players and management of the club they are being loaned out to.
Now straight to the 25-man squad for next season, with the four home-grown players we need being in all caps.
GK: Buffon, MIRANTE (1-2M buy, or straight swap with a youth player to Bologna) AUDERO
DEF: Licht, Dani Alves (Free transfer happening soon apparently), BBC, Rugani, Benatia (LWOTB), Evra, Sandro
MID: Khedira, Lemina, MARCHISIO, Sturaro, Pogba, Duncan (10-12M buy), Pjanic (33M buy), Isco (LWOTB at 30M, or straight swap with Morata)
ATT: Mandzukic, Dybala, Zaza, Berardi (25M buy), FAVILLI
I think there is a chance we could go with a 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 next season, so if we play with 3 attackers, then having 5 in the squad is necessary, in which case Favilli can serve as the 2nd back up striker, pushing Zaza rightly to take over from Morata’s spot in the team as 1st choice off the bench, or even to a starting spot if he can perform well enough to displace Mandzukic.
I see no chance of Favilli making the senior squad. Yet also remain to be convinced that Berardi can cover any striker role, and given the pace and ability to run with the ball at feet of Morata, I remain close to certain that we will sign an experienced striker in this position when the Spaniard leaves. Hence talk of Cavani and Batshuayi.
Favilli would be interesting. Yet I just cannot see it happening, and the player himself may well desire first team action and is already enticing Serie B teams for that opportunity. How can he prove his value at Juve when he will never play?
Yes yes! If we sign Pjanic, which is an exciting prospect, I believe we will move to a back 4 and variations of 4-3-1-2, 4-3-3, 4-3-2-1 etc. I am very interested to see how Sandro fares if given the fullback role in a back 4 consistently…
Whilst Mirante seems a great option for us, Bologna will want far more value than 1-2m for their first choice goalkeeper…though we could give them Pinsoglio or Fiorillo or Brignoli, yet they may want more.
Cheers for the praise and reading and contribution, comrade! And whilst I do not think it will happen, I support the inclusion of Favilli! Why not roll the dice eh! Though to be fair, by far the most talented offensive player in the primavera this last season has been Clemenza. Who will take time to recover from the ACL. Perhaps in the January mercato, we will loan out Lirola if he has found space in the senior squad, or Audero, and replace the home grown at Juve factor with Clemenza. Which is a pleasing possibility.
All U21 primavera players don’t need to be registered, so they are moot points. Audero, Lirola, Romagna etc, will not take any space in the roster of 25. Also, Rugani counts as a club-grown according to Serie A regulation (not UEFA though). Mandragora as well doesn’t need to be registered in Serie A (Any U21 player doesn’t need to be registered).
Wise points, Alban…yet you have neglected to mention that the placement of these players in the primavera, will take up spaces of the U17 players ear-marked for progression to the U19s. And after succeeding at primavera level (or elsewhere at senior level as is the case with Mandragora), the obvious next move is to head to senior football, rather than continue playing at youth level. So from that perspective, its close to a moot point to suggest we can keep such players with the primavera and use them with the seniors as we please. I would rather see them given greater opportunity to play at senior level, than training with those younger than them, remaining at youth level. Its of no value to play at a level below your ability.
Yes, you have a point of sorts, but it seems to me, more likely to stunt development, when players seem ready for senior football, than nourish their development.
Rugani counts as home grown as in registered with an italian club for 3 years between 16 and 21, yet his playing registration has not been with Juve for the same period. The players I chose for that category could be placed elsewhere in the squad, yet I now ponder, if this odd distinction between playing rights and registration allows a player like Rugani to be included as a home grown player who has spent 3 years of his career between 16 and 21 at Juve, when he clearly has not? Kindly confirm your suggestion, if I have understood what you are getting at rightfully?
I didn’t say anything about the primavera, that’s a different discussion. The club can decide to do what they want with them. The point is that since they don’t need to be registered, it’s redundant to count them towards the 25-man roster (as in they can play official matches and train with the first team full time without being registered at all). This is particularly useful if you want to make space for reserve players alla Padoin, at the very least in the cases of the aforementioned. Otherwise, they can be loaned while the spaces are filled with more prominent players, for depth or first team. Playing time is limited after all.
As for Rugani, it’s simple. The new Serie A regulation doesn’t make a distinction whether the player played for the club, but rather if the player is under the club’s ownership. Meaning that it doesn’t matter if Rugani was on loan during the period he would have counted as club-grown. It was supposed to make things easier to categorize for the now removed co-ownership deals. Both clubs have rights to the player being club-grown.
Where the devil would these players you refer to play any competitive action, Alban? If there is a squad of 25, it seems unlikely that any of those not included in the 25 will be any closer to first team action than the 25 in the squad, else they would be there in their place, logically…
And I am unsure of your mention of Padoin as an example? Padoin cannot play unless he is registered. Though I believe we are still allowed to deploy up to three over-aged players in the primavera, yet why would we? That would be taking up the place of a promising youngster and why would a experienced senior player wish to play with children, other than to return to fitness after long term injury…?
This idea of playing unregistered players seems bizarre to me. What use would a maximum squad size be if you could play players unregistered within that squad? I understand that no registration for the senior squad is required for players registered for the primavera, yet they must be registered to play.
I would very much appreciate you pointing me towards official confirmation of what you are suggesting of the new FIGC regulations. It beggars belief that players who do not play or train for a day with Juve, who we own but have loaned out and who are registered with other clubs, count as home-grown at Juve, as well as home grown at the club hosting the loan.
How can a player be deemed to have spent a year at two clubs? When he has played solely for one club?
I believe you may be confused Alban! One of us surely is. I stick to the conclusion that 4 of the senior squad must be ‘home grown’ (or associate grown) as in spending 3 years between 16 and 21 in Italy, and 4 must be ‘club trained’ as in spending 3 years at Juve between 16 and 21 (not owned by Juve but loaned elsewhere).
To call this ‘comprehensive’ would be a supreme understatement – I had to read it twice to absorb it fully – Another majestic moment from TGP, bravo sir !
Perhaps the one point that i’ll take away from this article, more than any other: The future is bright. There’s loads of potential there for the next generation to work on, and like TGP rightly says, it’s an easier task to buy the established players and work on them, rather than taking a punt on the unknown 16 year olds who may or may not develop.
What a fantastic period we’re in – Dominant in Serie A to the point where we allowed the opposition a massive head start….and still won. Our management is comprised of competent individuals who work for the collective good. And like TGP says, we finally have a youth set-up that may yield results once again. A far cry from the days of Secco and Cobblers.
Once again, Bravo TGP – The hours and effort you put into this one were truly worth the wait !
I may as well as some youth transfer news into this thread…the latest of which is…
QPR are interested in Magnusson. A player who has proven solid wherever he has been loaned and I will be a little sad to see him depart from any prospective future at the club as I was with Freddy Sorensen. Yet…who can say what kind of caveat we will insert into the deal, and if the youngster gains any playing time in the EUROs perhaps he will find other suitors. Expected price will be 3-5m I presume.
Former Juve back-up keeper Rampulla has become SPorting Director of Cremonese. The veteran has retained healthy connections with Juve and his new role could well lead to a new partnership in terms of offering our little ones further exposure at senior level. Cremonese will be playing in Lega Pro next season.
Serie B newcomers SPAL are serious about loan deals for Favilli, Brignoli, Cassatta and Romagna…
We have taken up the option of signing 18 year old Cameroon midfield Joss Didiba, who signed on loan in February and went on to play a starring role in our Viareggio success and thereafter performed well in the league campaign. Crystal Palace and Watford are sniffing around for his services…
And finally, it seems likely that Bioty Kean will remain in the youth ranks and progress to the primavera for next season.