The news about Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Juventus had hit the airwaves for quite some time. It was reported that he had already expressed his desire to leave after a successful spell at the Old Lady. However, what seemed to be missing is his next stop. Therefore, the football world was shaken when it was confirmed that he would be rejoining Manchester United after more than a decade of being away.
Every team will suffer when they lose a player. Moreover, the suffering is expected to be more intense if the player lost is of the calibre of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ever since he came in, Ronaldo has been a huge influence on the success of Juventus. Even though he didn’t meet all the expectations set, he still managed to win two Serie A titles with Juve. He had joined after quite a successful spell at Real Madrid where he put up unbelievable numbers. At Juventus, he managed to score more than one hundred goals in all competitions over the three seasons that he played there. In addition to the Serie A, he also won a Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa titles with them. Now that he has departed, what happens to Juventus?
To begin with, the odds of the most new bookies still cite Juventus as one of the favourites to win the Scudetto among other titles. However, after a successful run of ten years in the Serie A, Juventus finally lost the Title to rivals Inter Milan. This came about after a heated season where Antonio Conte’s side clinched the title thanks to the help of top drawer players such as Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. Therefore, with former boss Maximiliano Allegri back at Juve, they will be looking to rebuild a dynasty that they had enjoyed throughout the past decade.
Juventus have started the season with a different manager for the third time in quite a long time now. After sending away Allegri in 2019, they appointed Maurizio Sarri hoping for the best, especially in the Champions League. Now that Allegri is back, the Old Lady will be looking to dust themselves off after a disappointing fourth placed finish in the league last season. Previously, Allegri had managed to finish at the top of the Serie A charts in each of his last five seasons as manager. This means that he will be looking to reclaim back his status (and that of Juve too!). With the departure of Ronaldo, he is trying as much as possible to rebuild and build the team to his vision.
Rebuilding the team might be the key agenda in Allegri’s mind on paper, but in reality, things took a different turn with his first game. During the first game of the season, Juventus faced Empoli in what would turn out to be a catastrophic game for the Italian giants. Allegri named a strong eleven that assumed a 4-3-1-2 formation. Some of the key starters include Danilo, Weston McKennie, and Federico Chiesa. For Chiesa, he was looking forward to extending his good run of performances after quite a remarkable Euro 2020 campaign. Contrary to the expectations, McKennie, who started the game as a number 10, looks quite uneasy and uncomfortable. Throughout the game, Juventus did not manage to control the tempo. Worse came to worse when they went a goal behind.
It was not the goal that was the greatest concern, but the reaction after the team went behind to Empoli. With players such as Chiesa and Dybala leading the offence, we would have expected a more lively reply from them. They went on to lose the game. Yes, Empoli might have been Serie B champions last season, but the game was far less lively than we would have expected.
On matchday 2, the team also went on to lose to Napoli, another Italian giant who look really dangerous this season. We might not attribute all this to the loss of Ronaldo. However, the lack of sharpness and precision in the final third of the field proved that something was missing. Federico Chiesa and Dybala might have shown little signs of lethelness, but scoring goals is still a going concern for them.
However, even with all the negative compliments, there is still something to smile about at Juve. For one, the team managed to score three past Malmo FC in the Champions League opening fixture. All the goals came in the first half from Morata, Dybala, and Alex Sandro. Even though they were facing a team deemed as the underdogs, Juventus managed to show sharpness and ruthlessness in attack, something that has been lacking over the past few weeks.
That said, Juventus will be looking to improve on their fine UCL display and translate the results in the league during the weekend. This will be very important for them, bearing in mind that they will face Chelsea FC next in their Champions League group fixtures. Chelsea is a team that is playing well both defensively and offensively. With additions such as Romelu Lukaku and Saul, Chelsea will be the first real test for Allegri and his team. Sitting in the twelfth position in Serie A, it is up to Allegri to get a working solution as quickly as possible. In football, a team is always at an advantage when you start as you mean to go.
To top it off, Juventus do not lack the players to make a change. Below are some of the players that can help Allegri and Juventus turn the situation around during the post-Ronaldo era.
- Paulo Dybala. The Argentinian is among the top-rated players on this team. Juventus can benefit from him a lot by basing the attacking system around him.
- Alvaro Morata. He might not be a fan favourite, but Alvaro Morata can get goals when called upon. He can be a key part of Juve’s front three if used well.
- Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian has already shown what he brings to the team over the last few years. It is up to Juve to get the best out of him.
- Chiellini. The Italian defender has had a wonderful Euro campaign after captaining the Italian team to victory. He is a key element of the Juventus defence.
Juventus is a successful team that has shown signs of decline. However, with a new manager and a system, it is only a matter of time before we can enjoy the greatness of the Old Lady yet again!