De Ligt
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Opinion: Ranking the last five Juventus players who wore the number 4 jersey

August 4, 2022 - 9:00 pm

Following the departure of Matthijs de Ligt, the number 4 jersey could be set for a sabbatical, unless an unexpected newcomer decides to pick it up.

Therefore, this appears to be the right timing to deliver the latest instalment of the series and rank the last five players who donned the number four shirt with the famous black and white stripes.

5- Felipe Melo (2009-2011)

When Juventus signed Felipe Melo from Fiorentina for 25 million euros, it appeared to be a solid piece of business despite the relatively high fee.

But following a few encouraging displays, the Brazilian’s stint degenerated into an utter disaster until he departed in 2011 on a sour note.

His rapport with Bianconeri supporters remains poor until this very day.

4- Olof Mellberg (2008-2009)

In 2008, Alessio Secco signed Olof Mellberg on a free deal before Beppe Marotta made it cool.

The Swede added some experience to the backline and made 38 appearances during his lone campaign in Turin, even if Giorgio Chiellini and Nicola Legrottaglie remained Claudio Ranieri’s preferred options.

3- Martin Caceres (2012-2016, 2019)

Martin Caceres famously signed for Juventus on three separate occasions. His original spell was arguably the poorest, but it won’t affect his placement on the list because he had the number 2 on his back.

The Uruguayan never quite managed to cement himself as a bona fide starter on a regular basis, but his contributions were always valuable, and his versatility was particularly appreciated by Antonio Conte and Max Allegri.

His second spell remains the longest and most fruitful, but he also made a brief return in 2019.

2- Mehdi Benatia (2016-2019)

Mehdi Benatia kept the number 4 warm between Caceres’ second and third stints.

During his initial campaign in Turin, he mostly served as a backup for the famous BBC trio, but Leonardo Bonucci’s shocking departure in 2017 allowed the Moroccan to showcase his great prowess.

During the 2017/18, the former Roma man was arguably one of the best performers at the club, but Leo’s swift return relegated him to the bench once again, eventually spelling the end of his time at the club.

1- Matthijs de Ligt (2019-2022)

Perhaps the Dutchman never quite reached his full potential during his three campaigns at the Allianz Stadium, but for a young foreign defender, carving himself a starting role at Juventus remains an impressive feat.

Shortly following his arrival, Giorgio Chiellini’s injury forced into a baptism of fire, and despite making occasional mistakes, he was able to hold firm.

Last season, the club’s underwhelming campaign would have been increasingly disastrous if it wasn’t for de Ligt’s valuable contributions at the back.

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    Ros August 5, 2022 at 12:14 am

    all underperformed. I don’t find de Ligt as a leader. Overpriced.