Features, Transfer Features

Con te partiro – Who is Leaving Juventus?

June 13, 2017 - 11:28 am

With the focus presently very much on potential new recruits, I feel it is worthwhile to consider those who might be offered a handshake, gratitude for their service in black and white and sent yonder.

As we season upon season try to improve the squad, the recruitment routine takes on ever more pivotal importance. We have returned to steady domestic dominance and assuredly reaffirmed our position as one of the top sides in Europe. Allegri changed the system earlier this year, with the aim of getting the very best out of the squad, or simply improving our fortunes. This was achieved, yet there is a down-side for some players, as positions have changed on the field. Whilst some can adjust commendably, such as Mandzukic, others have fared less comfortably. If we are to continue with the 4-2-3-1, which I believe to be the case, we must bring in specialist assets for each position within that formation.

The first two players on the list fall into this category of failing to adjust to opportunities in the 4-2-3-1.

Mario Lemina

I have never been impressed with the Gabonese. There sometimes appears a good player hidden away who shows himself in brief spurts, but his general output has been abject. Perhaps he could have been a box to box midfielder? Or an attacking midfielder through the middle? Regardless of the whatifs the player has failed miserably to find any form in the RM offerings presented. He will certainly be leaving. With his value likely around the 10-15m mark. Which is based more on his age and form in France prior to his move to Turin, than on what he has achieved since. I will be happy to see him leave the club.

Stefano Sturaro

Such a shame that injuries have curtailed his juve career so horridly the last year or so. For I have always enjoyed his tenacity, and found him one of few natural box to box midfielders in the ranks. He would die for the cause, but his attempts to replicate Mandzukic or Pjaca on the left have proven consistently low quality. With his name in the pecking order for the 2 CM spots below Pjanic, Khedira, Marchiso and Rincon, the italian really must be considering leaving the club, in order to find regular football. As with all players of a good age with any experience for the national side, this season leads up the World Cup which may well play into his thoughts when deciding upon his club for next season. If he is to leave I would hope we retained an option. Expected value 10-15m.


A dependable understudy to Santo Buffon who it appears has decided to seek first team football elsewhere, perhaps in Italy. I cannot fault his ambition, as the real champions wish to earn titles on the field, not from the bench. Expected value 7-12m.

Stephan Lichsteiner

Whilst some will note that he actually signed a contract extension earlier this year, our steady pursuit of De Sciglio and the continued presence of Alves combines to suggest that the Swiss Locomotive might seek an exit. Alves is playing as a RW because Max has concluded he is superior to Cuadrado against the stronger sides. I generally agree with this thinking, but Alves is not a RW. Better than our other option there, but not a natural fit. If we are to sign a natural winger or wing forward, and with Pjaca to come back into the side, there is less space for Alves or Cuadrado, so I assume Dani will revert to RB, perhaps sharing the role with the Swiss. The mathematics are against all three staying, especially if we sign De Sciglio or another fullback alongside a powerful RW such as Costa. Expected Value – Released on a free due to long, solid service.


This apparent hunt for a natural fullback also casts light on the Ghanaian, who has performed well enough this last season after returning from injury, yet may be deemed surplus to requirements as we look to improve the overall quality of the squad. Add to this the potential of Spinazzola returning to the ranks who can play in the exact same positions on the left. Expected Value 5-10m

Juan Cuadrado

It won’t happen, but I wouldn’t mind if it did! We have enough to win the league, certainly not at a canter, but through losing to our main rivals through the campaign and taking the title for the points we picked up against the weaker sides. Juan is super in the latter, for his pace and random trickery helps to break down gritty, competent opponents when they dig in. Unfortunately, Juan’s mentality is ver fragile indeed. He has improved since the turn of the year, but his lack of mental fortitude has reared its ugly head again of late. He needs to be happy to perform, more-so than others in the squad who are able to focus, always, on their game. As mentioned earlier…we are seeking to improve the quality on our flanks. Part of this is a direct indictment of Cuadrado’s failings. Fine to keep as a squad player, yet by my reckoning he is dispensable. Expected value 15-20m

Tomas Rincon

The gritty Venezuelan captain was brought in during the January injury crisis and has proven industrious if little else. Tough and accomplished when called upon, I cannot see what match winning value he brings to the side and he will be nowhere near a starting berth for the coming season. Can we afford to have anyone in the squad who is simply reliable, no frills, adds little but industry to the side when appearing? I believe not. We need players capable of making a difference. Expected value 5-12m

Rolando Mandragora

The elegant DM cum regista has enjoyed a fine Under 20 World Cup and made an impressive debut for the club late last season. Fully recovered from his injury woes, he is the one youngster in our ranks who seems physically ready to blossom at a high level. However, as is long overdue, the club are clearly looking to invest in a player comfortable at the base of midfield, able to dictate the tempo, put his foot on the ball, pick out passes and keep the defence screened. This is exactly the skill-set of Rolando, yet we are focused on Nzonzi and also Paredes. Four players for two CM positions is the minimum. Five will leave one barely featuring. With Marchisio, Pjanic and Khedira ahead of him and potentially Nzonzi, it seems likely that the youngster will head out on loan. In saying this, I would be most pleased to see him stay, as I have serious faith in his potential. It might come down to a straight battle between the italian and the soon to arrive Bentancur. Both occupy similar positions, though the Uruguayan would take up one of our prized non-EU spots, which could affect our plans for more established players

Paulo De Ceglie

The long forgotten fullback, probably the worst player I have ever seen in our colours, is finally to leave the club. Given a shirt number last season solely because he satisfied one of the Home Grown spots and nobody else wanted him, his contract is up at the end of June. A determined lad, who reminds me of Damien from The Omen, yet as a footballer, he is appalling. Good riddance.

Mattiello, Audero, Kean and Clemenza all need first team football, which none of them will receive if they stay at Juve. Yet we must consider the Home Grown (at the club) rule. Four must be included in the squad. We also must include four players who grew in Italy, elsewhere or at the club.

This past campaign the four HG in house were-

Audero, Mattiello, Marchiso and De Ceglie.

Rugani might be considered as HG also…depends on the time he spent away on loan when we owned him. I suspect he was not eligible as he was not officially at the club for the required period of three years between the ages of 15 and 21. It is this HG rule which might well lead to one of those mentioned remaining. We can register another from the primavera, just to make up the numbers.

(NB we can go with fewer, but UEFA then restrict the squad size for european competition.)

The question is…are we then holding back a player’s development? They will be training with world class talent, which certainly has its merits, but if they barely feature, if at all, I believe their progress is more stunted than nourished.

That is a tough task for Beppe, Fabio and Max to confront.

I should probably mention Big Leo. In whom there is yet again undeniable interest, primarily from the premier league. Yet likely also from beyond.

Bonucci enjoyed another powerful campaign. He remains one of the finest ball playing CBs on the planet and given he is relatively young for a player of such high calibre in that role, demands for his services come from the very top. Chelsea and Man City have both sounded out the club. 50m+ seems a lot, and we have Rugani as well as other classy CBs, yet none of them are as useful on the ball. That could be mitigated by having a player like Nzonzi who can perform the same duties a little higher up the field, yet still with defensive value. However, we have no need to sell any of our prized assets, and solely if the player himself decides to embark on a new challenge, sample a new culture will any offers be countenanced.

There will be plenty of movement in the youth sector with rumours already flying around like a locust plague. I will update on happenings in that realm in due course.

The key areas I feel the first team squad needs to improve are DM, LW, RW. The club seems to agree. Schick provides possibly apprentice value for not just Higuain but also Dybala. A LW would mean Mandzukic returns to back-up Higuain. Other than which, I would be happy to see De Sciglio appear and one of Asamoah, Lichsteiner or Alves to depart. And then there is Neto…Whom to replace and groom to step into the first XI when Santo Buffon hangs up his gloves, we appear to be moving for Szczesny. My own opinion on this story is…

After reading a fair amount of the player whose name is damn hard to spell let alone say, I am surprised by the change in his humility and self awareness. He speaks like a different man entirely to the sometimes reckless keeper from North London. Well aware of his lack of progress during his time for the Gunners and matured, grounded and clearly good enough to claim a starting role in the first XI of a Roma side who have finished 3rd then 2nd during his time at the club.

Then onto his highlights, and it all combines to make this signing, if it happens, a welcome move. A decent price for a very experienced keeper, who is at a good age, has grown up, improved his mentality – which was lacking in England – who has held down a place at a decent club playing at close to the top level. Considering we must assume that Neto wants out, we could do a lot worse than (copy and paste!) Szczesny.

Some of his play reminds me of the Great Dane, as he loves to spread himself star like wide and makes plenty of saves from close range whilst commanding his box with far more composure than I remember from his PL antics.

We are not able to sign Buffon V2. He does not exist. And whilst Santo Buffon continues between the sticks, we are not able or willing to pay the huge sums required for the only keepers who might be near his standard…De Gea for example. So it makes sense to bring in Szczesny, as a number two. Not Buffon elect. And to see how he fares, when given the chances, see how he beds into the group, see if he can take the maturity displayed in Rome, and continue to build on that, as he has stated he wishes to.

At first this seemed horrible, but my mind was stuck in 2014 and before…

If that boisterous character of his has truly blossomed to include some steel, I sincerely believe that the Pole could surprise a few people.

That pretty much covers the main possible and probable departures, with brief mutterings of who might be appearing in their places to be forthcoming soon.

As has been the case for many moons, I continue to place my trust in the club.

forza juve


(Follow me on twitter here)

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  • Avatar
    Marc Palumbo June 13, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Honestly, I would accept a bag of water bottles for Sturaro. It’ll be used to hydrate the actual footballers.

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino June 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Good god, was PDC still on the books? Good riddance.

    I have a lot of faith in the management, to bring in a beast of a DM and at least one winger. Personally hope for DM/RW/CF, I don’t want Mandzukic to be the CF to replace Higuain. He offers much less goalscoring potential than Higuain and is so much more useful with his workrate on a wing position.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet June 14, 2017 at 1:26 am

      Indeed my friend…the little devil has been stuck in a nether realm, somewhere between the kids and seniors. Yet not allowed to touch anyone, as he might infect them with that same hooked/webbed feet problem which has haunted his stop start ‘career’…

      Mario is more useful as a LW/ LWF but a natural LW/ LWF will prove even more valuable, one who can dribble and attack with far more pace, which relegates Mario to a vice LM/LWF or vice CF, especially as Pjaca will return, yet he could viably back-up Dybala or either winger.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino June 14, 2017 at 6:22 am

        Comfortably leeching on a fat contract given to him.. good that he is gone.

        Agreed, I guess it depends on what one gives more priority, a classy natural left winger to start games or a quality understudy to Higuain. And Mandzukic to fill in the other option.

        Maybe Schick stays and becomes the player to replace Higuain when needed? That would mean the CF slot is filled in and we can chase Costa/other LW. Yet I dont think Schick will stay for next season and we will have MM as second CF

        • thegutterpoet
          thegutterpoet June 14, 2017 at 8:19 am

          I don’t know if I would see it as coldly and cruelly, my friend…I believe he would have headed to Marseille last Summer, but they did not want him. Neither did anyone else it appears. That is truly a wretched state of affairs for a lad who has always worked damn hard, just simply couldnt find a club, or one able to pay him a half decent wage. Given he was earning around 1m per season, he probably has a mortgage and other living costs, assuming he would be embarking on a career of at least that kind of wage for many more moons. And then disaster struck! he was found out. Not his fault eh! Just a very poor player. So it would have caused him more serious bother to take the drop in wage offered by other clubs…who would want that? Bearing in mind he has been at the club for a decade, we were not going to release him, so kept him – I believe – as one of the HG spots, and to help him keep fit. A high price, but to dissolve his final year of contract would have been cruel and hardly saved us much after an agreement was reached…all in all, I feel a little sorry for the chap.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino June 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

            I don’t think Juve would have opposed him leaving for free if he found a team to play for comrade. I have no hatred for Paolo, but I don’t believe NOBODY wanted him. With his skills, any Serie A team would be good and probably top Serie B teams. As for wages, I’m sure he would still earn a comfortable salary playing for teams as Empoli, Palermo, Bologna, Cagliari…

            Perhaps not enough to own a big villa with swimming pool and a stock of luxury cars, but hey, that goes for most people..
            He took a risk in life and he lost, that happens.

            But then again, I did phrase it bluntly. I feel no antipathy towards the guy, he’s just not up to standards. Hardly anything to blame him for, he gave it his best and it didn’t work out

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet June 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

            Ahh, my friend, I did not intend to admonish! I was perhaps ,probably, playing nice with de ceglie, just because I feel I have been awful towards him over and over again…and you are correct, he turned down moves to Crotone and Pisa in recent years. Poor chap eh!

  • Avatar
    Moderator June 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Great read and timely as well – the focus is on the incoming transfers and there inevitably has to be some space made – I’m inclined to agree with almost everything your wrote comrade – I suspect Mandragora has to be given regular playing time, he looks a formidable type, tall, good range, confident too.

    Sturaro still has promise – he needs a season at a club like atalanta where he is given the confidence of a manager like Gasperini and the opportunity to play every week.

    Lemina is a bust – he showed snatches of brilliance and i suspect he may yet prove us all wrong, but he’ll never break into the starting XI at present – it’s not possible for him.

    I like Juan a great deal and i applaud him for the way he fought the good fight to come back to Juve – I’d like us to persist with him and try and transform him somehow – he is an inventive soul at times, but needs to be playing in a set position and needs to work on what he does when he gets into the final third of the pitch.

    Exciting days ahead – I am almost inclined to write a little post on the mercato as a whole and how i love to hate it – peraps event this week will inspire me somehow !

    Great work TGP ! Always a pleasure to read your work amico mio 😉

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino June 14, 2017 at 6:23 am

      I hope Sturaro can leave on loan or be sold with an option to buy back. I still believe he can do well, but needs a year to show it. Atalanta would be good

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet June 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Many thanks, old chum…Thank you for weighing in with your ever welcome comments.

      I am increasingly inclined to hope or agree that Rolando will battle it our with Rodrigo. One of whom could stay at the club, the other loaned out. Both seem ready for senior football, the question is how high a level?

      You are well aware of my longstanding support of Sturaro…I just do not see a place for him anywhere near his natural position, and he has not the technique or body type to smoothly transition into a LW, where competition will surely be even higher next season. Nzonzi? Marchisio fit again? Perhaps Rincon and one of the young guns staying? No dice. And if he heads out, I hope yes yes! we retain an option. the side has grown in quality and changed in system since he was last fully fit and available for selection consistently.

      Juan will of course stay, and I value his effort for the club. Just see him like all others I deem squad players, as dispensable as we stride towards the world class quality brimming out of the first XI and into the second string…

  • Avatar
    Xx RForcE xX June 13, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Sky italia reporting Junior Mendoza (agent of D.Costa) was spotted at Juve HQ. It is happening guys , i believe it.Juve is the best choice for him.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet June 14, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Seems welcome news. We definitely need more strength on the flanks. Costa has proven himself top drawer in the past, yet had a rather average year at BM from what I understand? It is hard enough to follow Juve, the mighty Gills and the PL, no time for other leagues for anyone who requires a slither of slumber and to enjoy more of our existence than merely the beautiful game!

      Any bundesliga fans here who saw him last term?

      The question to ask…alongside our pursuit of other wide men (also central options) such as Bernardeschi and Keita, is who makes way?

      • Avatar
        Xx RForcE xX June 14, 2017 at 7:20 am

        costa had plenty injuries last season, so this affected his season, 7 goals and 13 assists isnt that bad at all

  • Avatar
    Juventino Persa June 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Mostly agree with you man, just don’t put too much faith in N’Zonzi arrival. After what happened in recent mercatos with Draxler and Witsel, I wouldn’t be so sure until I see them signing for Juve.
    I’m quite sad we lost Tolisso as he signs for Bayern. That damn second half in Cardiff showed us the importance of bossing the midfield as Kross and Modric did for Madrid. Apart from LW we need world class midfielder and after Tolisso moving to FCB and probably Verratti moving to other FCB, I’m afraid our midfield get bullied against big teams in europe again. Hope for a bigger name than N’Zonzi.

    • Avatar
      Dar Black June 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Mr Matic is the answer.

      • thegutterpoet
        thegutterpoet June 15, 2017 at 8:24 am

        Happy in London, though mate, earning bigger money, back in the CL, just won the league, a vital cog in a blossoming Conte machine. No reason i can see that they would sell or he would request a move…?

        • Avatar
          Dar Black June 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm

          No, true. But he might fancy a change and I think we and Serie A are now attractive to all but the Messi’s of this world.

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino June 14, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I hope the rumours saying Napoli chase Meret arent true. Would be such a waste of a good talent to play at that pile of shit called Napoli.

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 June 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Is N’zonzi a big upgrade for our midfield ? Haven’t seen much of him so don’t know about this potential transfer. Would this mean a midfield with pjanic-N’zonzi? Can’t see marchisio/khedira being happy on the bench though..

    • Avatar
      Dar Black June 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      No upgrade. Not world class either. Another waste of money.

      • Avatar
        Christian Augusto June 16, 2017 at 12:39 am

        N,zonzi is an upgrade in midfield , khedira does not pass the ball like him and I think Nzonzi will do a better job in tracking back freeing up pjanic to play further up the pitch.

        • Avatar
          Dar Black June 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm

          He has got to 28 with no big teams previously interested in snapping him up. He doesn’t score many goals, did little or nothing in England, but has had one good season for Seville. Really, does he sound like a game changing acquisition? No. Don’t we have a deep lying playmaker already now in Pjanic? And a DM diamond in the making with Mandragora, and a great passer with steel and determination in Claudio? Remind me why do we need N’zonzi again? Sounds like 30-40 million wasted to me. Time will tell.

          • Avatar
            RAC June 17, 2017 at 1:44 am

            Best defensive mid in the market, in my opinion. And definitely a better defensive mid than anyone on our team. I would like to see him and pjanic together in midfield. Also raises the quality of our midfield considerably: pjanic n’zonzi khedira marchisio and rincon (i hope he stays), even mandragora or betancur, for 2 spots is extremely solid.

  • Avatar
    Jas June 15, 2017 at 1:02 am

    I guess we traded Costa for Tolisso, will it pay off? I guess it will be a testament of time. In my opinion we got the better deal for now, I’ve seen costa play and he is the real deal. People forget under Guardiola he was probably the best player on that Bayern team. I’m also fairly certain bundesliga is further ahead in quality when compared to League 1. Costa is an astronomical upgrade over Cuadrado, now bring on Shick and and we’re only missing a middfider. It is time to revamp, the only player I will miss is Sturaro but in all honesty I’d rather see Mandragora get more playing time as he is a much better all around player. I don’t think Juve get Verrati but I doubt he actually goes anywhere regardless. We’re only missing another midfielder, the question is who do we persue hmm. I like Spinazzola allot so maybe we recall him early. But cheer up guys, our mercato gets better every year and now we get to upgrade on a world class squad.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

      My thinking also, Jas…We loosen our interest in Corentin for access to Costa.

      As for Mandragora, I am fully in agreement. He seems class and physically ready to play comfortably with the seniors. Great passing range, great engine, intelligent on the ball with solid reading which will only improve with time. The non-EU status of Costa gives him the edge over Bentancur, as does his experience at the club and in Italy. Yet the Uruguayan comes with sound potential.

      I am fine with our moves thus far, soon to happen or happening. We are concentrating on the areas which most obviously need more talent. Can’t ask for more than that. And whilst some are unable to understand it, I know you are, when it comes to the economic side of the game, and not just our revenue but also our wage structure. We are not able to compete on wages with many other clubs and its a fair demand of a player to choose Juve for 2,3 even 5 or 6 million more a season. Then there are the fees, same story. United and others can beat any of our offers, if they wish.

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Think most of us have to keep in mind there will be no big overhaul in players – we’re in an evolution, not a revolution (such as Milan right now)

    We find our weaknesses and try to strengthen those, we do not need 6 new players in order to go far – we can do that with the present squad. Just fine tuning the machine at this point

  • Avatar
    JuveMarchisio June 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I hear a lot of noice about LW, but who are the potential RW we are chasing ? is Berardi still in the picture ? Who else ? (Costa, Keita, bernardeschi all LW)

    • Avatar
      Xx RForcE xX June 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Berna can play anywhere in attack, Lw, rw, cam,cf,ss, whatever

      • Avatar
        JuveMarchisio June 17, 2017 at 10:09 am

        He can play RW but he is’nt a fantastic RW, on the left side he is much better

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino June 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      I dont think he is, last I read he was assumed to follow Di Francesco to Roma.

      Cuadrado just might be sold this summer, but that would mean we need 2 RWs.

      I have no idea who is in the picture for Juve