Features

Juventus 2015 Summer Window Wish List

June 8, 2015 - 2:55 pm

With the 2014/15 season over, we look forward to the summer and highlight some of the moves Juventus should make on the transfer market.

Here’s what would be my ideal transfer market campaign and what I think Juventus should do to continue to improve.

1) Convince Carlos Tevez to stay for one more year, if not longer. In what looks to be an almost complete overhaul of the attack, Juventus need a pillar and veteran leadership. Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata are great youngsters and will continue to grow, but you need to have somebody to mentor them and in general some veteran leadership upfront. Tevez has been a great addition since day one, he has still a lot to give to the cause and to Italian/European football; he’s only 31. Moreover, replacing him would be a tough task and a financial bloodbath. The usual strikers linked to Juventus (just spitballing names here) like Radamel Falcao, Robin Van Persie, Mario Mandzukic and Edin Dzeko are all great players, but they would be at their first season in Serie A and there isn’t any guarantee that their transition would be as seamless as Tevez’s one was. They are also very different players from our no. 10, some not very apt to Allegri’s style. The only ones who would assure no-drop off are Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have already been Serie A stars, but the fee and wages to get the first one are so astronomical that I consider him a pipe dream, while good ol’ Zlatan demands a hefty payday. (Gonzalo Higuain lacks that composure to be a great leader and Napoli would never sell him to Juventus, in case you were wondering.)

2) Keep Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba. Even though he had an up and down season, mostly because of a rushed surgery in the summer and a tricky recovery process, Arturo is still one of the best all-around midfielders in the world and I look forward to seeing him more as box-to-box midfielder than in the CAM position, which is not the most suited to him. The management seems really committed to retain Pogba and have him as the centerpiece of the next crop of great Juventus players. He has extended his contract midseason, he earns as much as the other top dogs in Turin. Even if his flamboyant agent Mino Raiola likes to open his mouth a lot, Pogba has always been very humble and down-to-earth. The sky is the limit for Paul and I hope his role will be more and more influential as goal scorer too.

3) Buy the second half of Domenico Berardi. If a guy scores 31 goals in his first two seasons in Serie A at age 19 and 20, it means that he has it. He’s an amazing talent that just needs to check his temper at times and cut down the yellow cards. From the technical standpoint, he’s ready. He’s a right winger and Allegri hasn’t turned to 4-3-3 often, but I’m sure he’d work pretty well as right CAM/second striker in the 4-3-2-1 tactic that the coach designated as the ideal one at the beginning of last season. He can spread the floor, take opponents on and shoot from distance with his deadly left foot. He can grow into a second striker as, under Allegri, they tend to start the attack from a wide position. He’s co-owned with Sassuolo and Juventus have a €15M option on the second half until June 10, which would go up to €20M after that date. In any case, the co-ownership will have to be resolved, one way or the other, as that institution will cease to exist. Berardi has never openly said that he wants to make the move this year, but that’s understandable: he has a prominent role at Sassuolo, he’s a star there, they were the team who launched him into professional football and betted on him when he was younger so gratitude plays a factor. He’d play less at Juve and he’s also very young, that’s why he wouldn’t mind stay on loan (or with another formula) one more season, but I’m sure Allegri and the management can easily change his mind.

4) Don’t loan Daniele Rugani. This dude has played every minute and has never been booked and he’s only 20. He’s a finesse defender like Leonardo Bonucci, he’s not blunder prone and just needs to stiffen his man marking, become a little more physical. Andrea Barzagli is 34 and comes off an injury plagued season, Giorgio Chiellini is 30 and has recurrent calf problems: Rugani would be able to grab major minutes thanks to the squad rotation. It’s been rumoured that both Genoa and Sampdoria want him, but Juventus have already redeemed the second half from Empoli for €3.5M and I think it’s a guy they envision being a top-flight defender so it’s definitely not too early to install him into the main roster.

5) Buy two young fullbacks. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Patrice Evra have been very reliable this season, but especially the Swiss right-back has been probably overused. When you have two excellent veteran starters, you can afford to bring in two understudies. There are three interesting right backs in Serie A: Davide Zappacosta, Sime Vrsaljko and Silvan Widmer. Zappacosta needs some polishing in his defensive game as he was transitioning to right winger this year. Sime Vrsaljko has the highest upside, but he’s also a little too frail physically. Widmer is durable and steady and he would be my pick; we have a great relationship with Udinese and maybe he could join delaying the payment (loan with option to buy). However, Juventus would do no wrong with any of these. On the other flank, the injury of Kwadwo Asamoah was a fluke and he won’t have any problem going forward, but I don’t think he’s at his best in that position and could provide better contribution in the midfield. Matteo Darmian is hands down the best left back in Serie A, but the other European top clubs are already battling to have him: Torino’s president Urbano Cairo will sell him to who offers the most and Juventus don’t like auctions. I’ve read good reviews on Ausburg’s Abdul Rahman Baba and I liked Monaco’s Layvin Kurzawa and Olympiacos’ Arthur Masuaku when they played against us. They are all expensive options, but Evra won’t be around for much longer.

6) Add a world class creative midfielder. Roberto Pereyra is perfectly fine and has exceeded expectations this season, however there’s not a real alternative (once again, not a fan of Vidal at CAM) and Juventus could use one more player who can create havok between the lines and feed the strikers, especially should Andrea Pirlo leave. Oscar and Kevin De Bruyne would be good options, I personally adore Isco and I’m sure there few others great players out there who can be targeted as well. I think that this is where Juventus need to make a splash. A super duper playmaker could allow Juve to avoid spending for another big time striker and just roll with Simone Zaza. I see that many are down on him and I get it: there are questions about whether he still has room for improvement in his game. He’s at a good level, but he’s not regarded a superstar in the making like Dybala and Berardi. He’s a physical centre-forward, primary a box specialist, more agile than Fernando Llorente but he’s not able to glide past at will like Alvaro Morata, decent technique. However, if Juventus triggered the €15M buy-back clause, he could surprise most people with his finishing skills and his assertiveness in a team that creates loads of chances. Buying him, if you consider the wages, would still be cheaper than acquiring any other striker.

Let’s be realistic, this is an expensive reinforcement campaign. Juventus will receive a fat check from UEFA for the outstanding performances in the Champions League and the revenues will go up thanks to the new Adidas deal and the improved Jeep sponsorship, but it’s inevitable that there may be some financial casualties.

Fernando Llorente is a great locker room guy and an excellent striker in a system that fits him: I love him, but he has high wages (too high for a fourth/fifth option) and selling him would allow Juve to make a coveted “plusvalenza” since he joined for free. If Juventus do add Zaza and Berardi, letting him go would be logical. If they don’t, you can very well keep him instead of searching for another centre-forward (among the veterans, Van Persie is the one I like the most).

Angelo Ogbonna is solid and he has the potential to be an above average defender if he starts consistently, but I don’t see that happening at Juventus, especially with the focus on grooming Rugani. He’s 27 and was acquired for €13N: once again, probably too expensive to rot on the bench. More importantly, because of how he’s built, he has to play regularly to be at his best, that’s why sometimes we have seen subpar performances from him.

I doubt Juventus will trigger the €8M option to buy on Romulo, who had an awful season because of sports hernia and anyway isn’t a real right-back. He’s a natural RWB, but I think we’ll shift further away from 3-5-2, which will likely be used only as “closing” scheme, in the final minutes of games where we have to defend for dear life. He’s passable as midfielder, but we are stacked there. Martin Caceres is more versatile and a fiery defender: he could be a starter anywhere, but unfortunately he’s hurt all the time. Cashing in on him wouldn’t be a dumb move (if two fullbacks and Rugani are added). Kingsley Coman will most certainly be loaned.

Juventus shouldn’t act crazy if Andrea Pirlo decides to leave. I don’t know if Sami Khedira can play as deep-lying midfielder, Allegri will decide what’s best for the team. Claudio Marchisio has been viable there and Stefano Sturaro can cover that role for sure. Of course they have different characteristics, but that’s probably a dying position and it’s really hard, if not impossible, to find somebody with the same passing ability and vision of the Maestro. Khedira is a good enough replacement: a World Champion, top class midfield when fit. In the dreaded event of Vidal or Pogba leaving, I wouldn’t go for a pricey replacement (like Axel Witsel, who’s certainly an exciting player, Radja Nainggolan or Allan), but I’d simply rely on Asamoah (he’s a brute force) and buy a young gun. I’m a big fan of Parma’s Josè Mauri, who’s a Sturaro with three year less: a defense-first midfielder who’s starting to create his own offensive game. With Pogba/Vidal, Marchisio, Pirlo, Khedira, Asamoah and Sturaro ahead of him, he would have no pressure and time to mature.

It might be the right summer to nab some youngsters at cheap fees and stash them. Godfred Donsah has been linked to Juventus and he’s has high ceiling even if he’s not ready for the main roster like Mauri, Marcello Trotta or Andrea Belotti could be the next Zaza/Gabbiadini and it might be right time to steal Simone Scuffet at a discount price. Basel’s Breel Embolo is very intriguing, but the big investment that is being reported would mean that he’s a lock for making the squad and I don’t know about that.

To sum things up, here’s what I hope the roster will look like come August.

Goalkeepers: Buffon, Neto (luxury signing but I’m resigned that it’ll happen), Storari.

Defenders: Lichtsteiner, Widmer; Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli, Rugani; Evra, Baba.

Midfielders: Pogba, Vidal, Marchisio, Khedira, De Bruyne, Pereyra, Asamoah, Sturaro, Padoin.

Attackers: Tevez, Morata, Dybala, Berardi, Zaza.

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  • Avatar
    JuveMondo June 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    I think Caceres is getting an extension? I think if he stays healthy he can play a big part for us next year

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    Omar Hatem Wahdan June 8, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Great article! But, having those 5 strikers is impossible. Except for Tevez, all of them need to play with continuity; rotating between them would be extremely hard. I’d remove Zaza and keep the other 4. A formation change to 3 attackers can help, but then no need for De Bruyne.

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      JuveMondo June 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      I don’t think those 5 is an unrealistic expectation for next season. Coming to juve will help their growth even if they aren’t playing every game. It would be Tevez’ last year so we will try to work away from being over dependent on him thus bringing dybala in. And Berardi is going to be playing Treq most reports say but even if he plays as SS then he will get time. Zaza doesn’t have a huge ceiling as is so he will be a Llorente replacement maybe later on in games if we need a physical presence. Obviously Morata and Tevez would still be the go to strikers

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        Omar Hatem Wahdan June 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

        15mn for a 4th/5th striker is a lot when you need 2 quality full backs and a top playmaker. The only way I see this work if we play Tevez/Dybala/Berardi as trequartista, other than that it would be extremely hard to rotate fairly.

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          JuveMondo June 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm

          Well we would sell Llorente and lower wages with Zaza so it wouldn’t be a huge blow to our budget

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    CabraJP June 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Great article, i think that the rooster is perfect for next season, except i would keep Cáceres and sell Zaza. And maaaaybe bring Darmian instead of Baba.

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    Alex Delpiero June 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    you cant sell caceres, hes world class and soon his injury problems will improve and he’ll be huge

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      DutchJuve June 8, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Huge on the bench and in small matches.. He can be useful though.

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    Mikkel Andersen June 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I say keep Caceres, buy Darmian 20-22 mill and splash out on Oscar 28-30 mill. Buy Berardi but loan him out for one more season. If Tevez leaves get some under 30. For instance J Martinez.

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    Peter June 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    How can you even think about selling Caceres? 😛

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    KPS235 June 8, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    The squad looks great but you need about 120m to make it .

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      JuveMondo June 9, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      If only we were Milan 😉

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    mue June 9, 2015 at 1:15 am

    that formation.
    is that your FIFA 2015 formations?

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      BelgianJuventino June 9, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Read it properly “To sum things up, here’s what I hope the roster will look like come August.”

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        mue June 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

        why so serious?

        i’m just saying, who would’ve thought that formations before? it’s kinda fantacalcio teams.
        dont get me wrong. i’m happy with that. i hope we can achieve more than we did this season.

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          BelgianJuventino June 9, 2015 at 9:23 am

          Just saying, he clearly stated it’s what he thinks is realistic and a great team. Not so much fantacalcio imo, only De Bruyne is up for debate. We own Berardi for 50% so that is a realistic player for Juve.

          The others he mentioned would jump for a chance to be Juve players

          I don’t agree with all his picks, but it’s very realistic

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            JuveMondo June 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

            I think De Bruyne said in an interview that he sees Serie A on par with the Russian league and he even thinks Ligue 1 is better…smh

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            BelgianJuventino June 10, 2015 at 5:39 am

            What, really? Do you have a link to that? Never saw anything like that reported here

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            JuveMondo June 10, 2015 at 2:36 pm

            I saw a few twitter accounts post the quote that said his talents don’t suit serie a or the russian league and that england spain germany and france were the best leagues in the world. Sorry but I don’t feel like going digging for it haha. Few days ago i think tho

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            BelgianJuventino June 10, 2015 at 3:32 pm

            What the hell, he’s crazy if he’s serious about that. No need to research it, I’ll take your word for it xD

            I guess he was bullied by Italians or something, (he’s from a part in Belgium with a lot of Italians in it)

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            JuveMondo June 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm

            He prob says that cuz he thinks it’s easy to score in those leagues. That would be my only guess bc if he actually thinks that then he must be out of his mind!! BTW Italy is only 3 points behind England in terms of Coefficient so if we have another good year next year then we will get that 4th CL spot back which would be awesome

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            BelgianJuventino June 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

            Yeah, hopefully we can get that spot back soon, would be a major boost for the league!

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            JuventusVidal June 10, 2015 at 6:01 pm

            he said there’s a 95% chance he won’t go to italy or russia because they don’t suit his playing style. he went on to say spain, germany, england, and france are much more suited to him. maybe we’re the 5% exception lol

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            BelgianJuventino June 11, 2015 at 9:43 am

            He has a point there, Serie A doesn’t work on speed and technique, not like the other big leagues at least. But that shouldn’t mean he can’t play well here imo.
            Maybe :p

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    Jack Handey June 9, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I think losing Tevez would be devastating especially considering how he carried Juve all season. Dybala maybe great, but I don’t see him filling Tevez’s shoes just yet. Ogbonna and Llorente must be sold while they still have value. Oscar and De Bruyne would be hard to acquire given their €40-50mil valuation. Our best bet may be playing Tevez as CAM; he already plays deep and has the skillset to play the #10 role.

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      JuveMondo June 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      I think he is too selfish to play treq. Also doesn’t have enough creativity. Just my opinion tho

      • Avatar
        Jack Handey June 9, 2015 at 9:36 pm

        I think he is not selfish. It’s just that, as a striker, his job+instinct should be to score goals. But if you tell him to play a more creative role, he would do it.

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    brotherfranciz June 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

    De Bruyne had a great season but he will be extremely difficult to sign, seeing as Wolfsburg are in the CL next season. And even if Wolfsburg are in a selling mood, there is no way we can compete against the financial powerhouses in the Premier League, PSG, Barca, RM, Bayern, etc.

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      JuveMondo June 9, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      agreed unfortunately. That kid is a stud and he would be awesome for us or any team he joins

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    BelgianJuventino June 9, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I wouldn’t sell Caceres, he’s one of the few defenders we have that plays both R(W)B and CB, plus he’s by far the fastest running defender we have, which is something we lack almost completely in our defense.

    I’d go for Neto, he’s free anyway and a far better back-up than Storari.
    – A new LB like Coentrao, Rodriguez, Murru.
    – Next a CAM like De Bruyne or Oscar, once Pirlo is gone we need another creative midfielder. A deep-lying one is a race extinct, so a CAM will have to be Pirlo’s replacement.
    – Finally, a veteran striker with a good attitude, to mentor our young strikers. If Morata would leave, another young talent as well to replace him, someone who may cost quite some money. Thinking of Cavani, Ibra, RVP, Jackson Martinez as veteran strikers( if they accept a normal salary).
    – Berardi, he’s doing great at Sassuolo and he only needs to work on his professional attitude. Where else can you learn this if not at Juve?

    Get rid of Rubinho, De Ceglie, Ogbonna, Romulo, Padoin, Pepe, Matri and Llorente.
    Loan Coman and if our midfield remains this well stacked, Sturaro too.

    I’d give Zaza a chance, but I don’t really think he’s good enough for Juve. A major improvement over Matri or Llorente, but not starting material

    • Avatar
      Marc Dominic Zaroli June 9, 2015 at 9:25 am

      I see this site still has an illogical love for Caceres 😛

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino June 9, 2015 at 9:28 am

        Hahah, welcome back man, where have you been hiding?
        My opinion of Caceres is still as it was, I love him as a RB/RWB. Not so much as a CB but good enough in Serie A games

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      JuveMondo June 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Storari signed an extension so he would be staying with us and honestly I love seeing him on the sideline yelling at refs and giving instructions. He is a great teammate and a true professional that can mold younger players and show them how to act around a big club like Juve. Agreed that we need a creative CAM but a good one won’t be cheap. I saw some rumors saying Allegri wants to try Berardi there in preseason. Also, RM don’t have a buy back clause for this summer so no need to worry quite yet. Next two summers they have the option to bring him back if that’s what he wants as well. I really hope he stays with us for a long time though. He is a special player. The exact mold you want a modern CF to be

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        BelgianJuventino June 10, 2015 at 5:38 am

        I like Storari, he can stay for me thanks to his social skills, but Neto as second goalie is way better. I would love it if he tried Berardi as CAM, would mean Berardi joins us xp and i think the buy out clause for Morata is active now and next season mate, pretty sure of it..

        I am seriously getting a shirt with his name on it if he stays

        • Avatar
          JuveMondo June 10, 2015 at 2:42 pm

          https://www.football-italia.net/52344/official-morata-signs-juventus Next two seasons! But if we could cancel that clause then I would seriously do it. Plus he seems to like scoring against these spanish sides which we may need in the coming years

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino June 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

            Yup, you’re right, man that sucks. I thought the first year of their option was passing now 🙁

            I want him to stay so badly

          • Avatar
            JuveMondo June 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm

            Yep and I don’t see him slowing down so chances are RM will want to bring him back and it’ll either be up to him to stay in Torino or we will buy out that clause at some point. Whatever we gotta do to keep him with us tho

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    Moderator June 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Caceres Renews until 2018
    Khedira signs on a 4 year deal.

    WHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Did you see that ? It was Beppe Marotta making transfer moves…..

  • Avatar
    mass19 June 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    New to this blog.

    Excellent read. I agree with most of your choices. However, I would modify it slightly:

    Defenders: I wouldn’t bring in Widmer; Caceres has just renewed his contract and can be the substitute for Lichtsteiner who still has 2 good seasons in his leg. I would probably bring in Darmian instead of Baba. He can be play on either side and is Italian, so he can stay with Juve long-term. The only problem is with Cairo who would probably be unwilling to sell him to Juve.

    Midfielders: I’ll divide this into two categories, CM and CAM. CM looks fine, although we may have to sell Vidal if a good offer comes in because it would be difficult to cash in on him later. CAM you put Pereyra and De Bruyne. I don’t see De Bruyne coming; he is too expensive. I would bring in Sneijder; he has a wealth of experience and can inherit set-piece taking from Pirlo.

    Attackers: too many attackers who would demand playing time. I would sell Tevez. Yes, he has been instrumental this year. But he has been too selfish lately and his form will likely drop next season due to age. I would love to see him go to give space to the youngsters who have a huge potential. With Sneijder behind them, they will get a lot of experience. My list of attackers would be:

    Dybala, Morata, Coman/Berardi, Zaza, 5th striker (Ala Matri, Borriello, …etc)

    Overall, this is what I hope Juve roster will be at the end of the summer:

    Goalkeepers: Buffon, Neto (luxury signing but I’m resigned that it’ll happen), Storari.

    Defenders: Lichtsteiner, Caceres; Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli, Rugani; Darmian, Evra.

    Midfielders: Pogba, Marchisio, Khedira, Asamoah, Sturaro, Padoin; Sneijder, Pereyra.

    Attackers: Dybala, Morata, Coman (or Berardi), Zaza, 5th striker.

    • Avatar
      JuveMondo June 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Too much youth in attack imo. Seems like if Tevez goes then Manzukic is the likely replacement. Wish it would be Cavani tho

  • Avatar
    DutchJuve June 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    lol