In 2018, Juventus launched their U23 project in the aims of providing the first team with top-notch home grown talent. For his part, Lamberto Zauli played an important role in the project.
The 51-year-old joined the club as Primavera coach in 2019, before taking over the U23 (currently known as Next Gen) in the following year. The manager left his post last summer, and is currently enjoying a spectacular run at Sudtirol in Serie B.
In a recent interview, Zauli reckons that he takes great pride in seeing some of the youngsters he helped developing becoming regular first team players at Juventus.
The tactician offers in-depth analysis of Max Allegri’s young contingent – namely Nicolo Fagioli, Fabio Miretti, Matias Soulé and Samuel Iling-Junior.
“It’s almost a personal thing. You have the pleasure of seeing youngsters, with whom you’ve shared time with, getting great rewards,” said Zauli in an interview with Tuttosport via ilBianconero.
“You’ve seen them younger, dreaming of great accomplishments, and now you see them living something exceptional. They are playing for Juventus and they are demonstrating that they have values, which makes me really happy.
“Fagioli is becoming a man in terms of character and approach to work. He was born as an attacking midfielder because all the boys with superior technical qualities are initially put up front.
“I think he can play in all positions in midfield because he he has a great vision, very good control and knows how to play well even around the opponent’s box.
“Miretti was born a footballer. He’s been at Juve since the age of eight. In the Primavera, he made the difference, he then joined me is Serie C at the age of 18 and the opponents would come and tell me ‘he’s on another level’.
“Soulé is playing for Juventus and it is clear that if Allegri tells him to ‘go to goal’, he would go to goal.
“But I was lucky enough to know him. He loves training and taking the field. He has great humility and he’s a guy you can absolutely bet on because he has an important one-on-one skills, which is an increasingly rare commodity.
“I knew Iling-Junior the least since he was with the Primavera in my second year at the U23, but he often trained with us and even played a few games.
“Samuel has the physique of a 30-year-old man. he’s a very polite boy and will be a footballer at the highest levels. He has already demonstrated it, when he enters he has a devastating presence.”
Following his departure last summer, Juventus replaced Zauli with Massimo Brambilla who’s currently in charge of Juventus Next Gen.