Club Features

Rating Juve’s Summer Mercato

September 1, 2015 - 11:47 pm

Beppe Marotta left it late, very late, but he finally got Max Allegri the trequartista he demanded. With the Italian transfer window now finally shut after months of excruciating rumours and just outright nonsense reported over the last two months, it’s all over. So how can we assess Juve’s transfer window?

Upon reflecting on the summer you would have to divide it into two parts; before Arturo Vidal was sold and after.

Following the Champions League defeat to Barcelona the club struck early. Securing the signatures of Paulo Dybala, one of the hottest young players in European football, for a reported €32m + €8m in bonuses, and a shrewd signing in Sami Khedira on a free transfer. The club also brought home Daniele Rugani after an excellent season with Empoli.

Andrea Pirlo as expected departed for the MLS after four years at the Juventus Stadium. In early July Carlos Tevez, who had wanted to return home to Argentina since the day he left for Europe in 2006, finally returned home to his beloved Boca Jnrs. Juve then signed Mario Manduzkic from Atletico as a direct result. Simone Zaza also joined from Sassuolo, Juve exercising their option to purchase the young striker.

At this stage of the window you would award Juve’s activity an 8. Allegri hadn’t got his no.10 as of yet but all the key players of 2014/15 had remained and there was plenty of time to bring in further reinforcements.

Then came the shift in momentum.

It was announced at the end of July that Bayern Munich had a bid accepted and agreed terms for Vidal. Juve fans across the globe were in a state of shock, unlike previous summers, there was no speculation about Vidal leaving. It was a bolt out of the blue, Bayern had done the deal very German like – fast and efficient.

Some fans felt the club had accepted too low a price for a player of Vidal’s standing. In the modern game where footballers who have achieved less are going for twice the amount Vidal was sold for, you could argue the case that the club should have held out for more. Then it emerged that Vidal himself wanted to leave the club and realistically what could the club do? With Bayern surely knowing he wanted to leave, Juve’s hands were undoubtedly tied.

I wrote here on JuveFC about why selling Vidal was ultimately the right course of action, but I also mentioned that it would only be the right move if the club bought well with the proceeds of the Vidal money, and this is where things go downhill.

Alex Sandro was signed in the middle of August for some €26million, some argued that it was too much considering he only had a year left on his contract. It’s worth bearing in mind that the club was dealing with Porto, wiliest of negotiators and Juve genuinely needed another left back. Patrice Evra couldn’t have possibly played 40+ games at the age of 34.

As the weeks wore on and the summer was drawing to a close the club still needed a Vidal replacement and Allegri still hadn’t got his trequartista. The Italian papers had linked Juventus with every no.10 under the sun, from Isco to Oscar to Mario Gotze to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and finally on to Julian Draxler. The Schalke player was deemed the most realistic option and so the club focused their attention to him.

An initial offer was rejected, wary of his injury record, supposedly the bid was within the €15m + bonuses range. Negotiations seemed to go cold for a period of time as Juventus got ready for their opening game of the season at home to Udinese. They lost 0-1 despite dominating the match.

Going into the final week of the window they club still needed to address the need to buy another central midfielder and Allegri’s attacking midfielder. Talks of an attempt to buy Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel emerged but nothing concrete happened as Juve headed into the second game of the season – away to Roma.

Kingsley Coman and Fernando Llorente had been let go by the club, Llorente inexplicably had been given away for free to Sevilla with Coman going to Bayern on loan for two years with the option to buy for €21million.

The day before the Roma encounter it seemed the club, finally, were about to get their no.10 in Draxler. Schalke had accepted Juve’s bid in the region of €26m + 6m in bonuses. Draxler had played his last game for the club on Saturday afternoon against Wolfsburg. Then came the shocking news late on Saturday evening, Draxler was going to the team he had just played against merely hours earlier.

Wolfsburg had just completed the sale of Kevin de Bruyne to Man City, and now with a barrel load of money, offered Schalke and Draxler more money than Juve were willing to pay. Both the club and player accepted and Juve remained without a no.10. Fans were getting highly agitated.

The sight of Simone Padoin starting in the center of midfield for Juve must have gave Roma huge confidence as they soared to a highly impressive 2-1 victory. Pjanic, Nainggolan and Keita thoroughly dominated Juve’s midfield in a manner that has rarely been seen in the last four years, the match badly highlighting the need for an additional central midfielder.

With yesterday the final day of the window and with the club now scrambling for two new players, they brought in Mario Lemina from Marseille and Hernanes from Inter for €11m + 2m in bonuses. Then the window shut.

So how would you sum up the post-Vidal activity? I would give it a 5.

The club failed to replace Vidal, you have to think the club hoped Sami Khedira could remain fit for the season and Kwadwo Asamoah upon return to match fitness could slot back into his old place in midfield. How much hope can you put in the pair too not only regain fitness but to remain injury free for the duration of the season? Claudio Marchisio is also never fully reliable in the injury department. The lack of depth was glaring in the selecting of Padoin in Pirlo’s old position, which would have been nauseating to some Juventini.

Before the Roma game and with the news of Draxler moving to Wolfsburg doing the rounds, Marotta absurdly made the claim, which was opposed by Allegri post-match, that he had never spoken to Schalke in his life. If that genuinely was the case, what was he doing for the last two weeks in August?

Some of the fans expectations were wildly lacking in logic; Oscar was never available, Gotze didn’t want to leave Germany, Isco was never a realistic target, same for Mkhitaryan. Yet Marotta’s decision to play the long game with Schalke ultimately backfired and on the last day was scrambling around trying to fine someone that remotely resembled a playmaker, leading to Hernanes.

Hernanes is a good player, despite suffering from that disease of a good player performing badly for Inter that most contract. However he’s not the player Juventus fans wanted, especially after the departure of Vidal. After Sergio Aguero, Robin Van Persie, Stevan Jovetic and Alexis Sanchez this felt all too familiar.

Mario Lemina is an unknown quantity. It’s worth remembering that four years ago Vidal was pretty much the same and look how that turned out.

The Simone Zaza debacle also bordered on ludicrous, overpriced at €18m to begin with, the rumours out of Vinovo was that Allegri wasn’t impressed with him after only two months and the club attempted to flog him to England. It makes one wonder why they brought him to the club in the first place. It just added to the sense of chaos to Juve’s last few weeks of the window.

How does the shape of the team now line up? A 4-3-1-2, the formation Allegri wanted to implement, arguably doesn’t make the best out of the players the club now have at their disposal. The same applies to the 3-5-2. There could be a shift towards a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-2-1.

Overall I would rate the mercato a 6.5/10 rating. Alex Sandro and Paulo Dybala the standouts purchases. Juan Cuadrado could be an astute signing. The lack of a plan B to Draxler and not replacing Vidal are huge negatives. This is now a very young team and the results might not be immediate but in the longer term this Juventus side could be devastating. The future is unquestionably bright.


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  • Avatar
    adp1974 September 2, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Realistically, and not being negative … I’ll be happy to finish top 3 this year. I’m conceiting the scudetto right now and that’s ok … 4 in a row is impressive and it was bound to end sometime, especially when you lose pirlo, tevez and vidal .. that’s huge.

    I think our team is good, but I worry about all the new players and the erosion of the culture that was set the last 5 years .. Maybe I’m overreacting.

    My feeling for CL is that we won’t make it out of the group stages … I think Man City will beat us in the first leg and Sevilla is going to give us a nightmare of a time … Also, we don’t have a Malmo or a Copehagen or a Nordsjælland, Gladbach is a good team, much better than these two … We might be fucked.

    • Avatar
      ho Hi September 2, 2015 at 6:40 am

      No no no. In the following two weeks till sep the 15th. Juve will find his way and formation. Juve will win against all three.
      Dont stop believing in this team.

    • Avatar
      Juventin1897 September 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      No faith.

      We might not be as good as last year, but certainly better than rest of Serie A. I bet we hit a mid season stride as Roma crumbles. Find ourselves in first place. Since there is no one else to challenge. We win the scudetto merely because no other team in Italy knows how to win anything right now.

      On one hand it’d be great to roll to 5 in a row. But we need more teams in Italy challenging the title and europe. I’d like to see Juve, Roma, Milan, Fiorentina top 4.

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino September 2, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Woohoow, no Padoin on our CL list! Unfortunately also no Asamoah :/

    • Avatar
      Peter September 2, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Going with the circlejerk in the other thread: PadoOut.

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    JuveMarchisio September 2, 2015 at 6:33 am

    All players brought have quality.. THE only thing lacking is a tactical vista..which tactic Will be played..which players are suited for that kind of play .. I should go for a 4-2-4

    • Avatar
      Juventin1897 September 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      lol I know what Im playing in FIFA 16 anyways…

  • Avatar
    Peter September 2, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I don’t think this was a bad window overall. We strengthened every part of our team, except maybe our already Top3 midfield.

    Instead of Storari, we have Neto now as a back up to Buffon.
    In defense, we have Sandro and Rugani instead of De Ceglie and Ogbonna.
    In midfield, we brought in Khedira, Hernanes, Lemina, instead of Pirlo, Vidal, Pepe, Romulo.

    And our strikers look way better than they did last year: Tevez, Llorente, Coman, Matri got replaced with Dybala, Mandzukic, Cuadrado, Zaza.

    If our players can stay fit, we are still strong contenders for the Serie A, and I think reaching CL Quarter finals is still very realistic. We could even sacrifice the cup for a better CL and Serie A run if it’s necessary.

    • Avatar
      duder1897 September 2, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Cuadrado is a striker?

      • Avatar
        Peter September 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        Well, he is an attacking winger, and I consider those “strikers”. I probably should have write “attackers”.

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    BelgianJuventino September 2, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I also think our Mercato wasn’t sooo bad.
    We got a better second goalie with Neto and Storari has left.
    Ogbonna has been sold for a decent fee, we got Rugani and finally an exciting left back with a lot of promise in Sandro. De Ceglie unfortunately only loaned out, looks like both him and Juve are just waiting for his contract to expire. Isla loaned with option to buy, which hopefully happens.

    We lost Pirlo and Vidal, which is a major blow. But we got Khedira for free, a youngster in Lemina and well, let’s see what Hernanes can do. Pepe is also finally moving on, Romulo is gone too.

    Then in attack we got probably the biggest blow in losing Tevez, but I’m sure Dybala can make us forget about that. Mandzukic is here to get the goals, I see him as the replacement of Llorente, but a better finisher. Matri is out, unfortunately Coman too, but then we have Zaza and Cuadrado, which are good depth options.

    And we still ave Berardi available.

    I rate our mercato 7/10. Not bad, but losing Vidal and Tevez was a big blow. I expected Pirlo to leave, we will miss him as well but we could cover that far better with Marchisio than the holes Vidal and Tevez left.

  • Avatar
    duder1897 September 2, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I’ll give it a 4 out of 10. Our squad is significally weaker. If we finsh top 3 in Serie A and 3rd in CL group I think we should be happy. Our midfield is simply terrible. Letting Coman go was so stupid it makes me want to throw up. We let go of a great talent but sign a piece of crap like Zaza. It’s embarrassing.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino September 2, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      This is too pessimistic imo. Currently weaker, yes. But every team has to start a new cycle about every 5years. Now it’s our turn and the talents we have look to be huge. Don’t know why Coman didn’t get to play more and I agree he should not have been sold.

      Give Zaza a chance though

      • Avatar
        duder1897 September 2, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        We didn’t need a new cycle. We just needed to replace those that left. For €126m Marotta should have been able to. He failed. I am excited about Sandro, Dybala and Cuadrado though. If we had signed just those three and a #10 I would be happy.

        • Avatar
          Peter September 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm

          So signing 1 less player than you hoped isn’t terrible is it?

          • Avatar
            duder1897 September 14, 2015 at 3:31 pm

            It is because the one player we didn’t sign is the player we need the most. A real star to carry this team offensively.

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino September 3, 2015 at 6:44 pm

          Replacing all three pretty much is a cycle, its not complete yet, but we are getting to a point where new guys need to be introduced to eventually replace those in their end twenties, begin thirties. Cuadrado is only loaned though, but rugani, Dybala and Sandro are great buys

          • Avatar
            duder1897 September 14, 2015 at 3:28 pm

            Agree about Dybala and Sandro. Hopefully Cuadrado will become a permanent deal. The rest is trash. We’ve spent enough money outside of Sandro and Dybala to have signed Di Maria. Imagine a team with Cuadrado and Di Maria on the wings with Dybala behind Morata. That’s a scary team.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino September 15, 2015 at 6:02 am

            Not convinced about Rugani then?

          • Avatar
            duder1897 September 15, 2015 at 12:14 pm

            No I’m not convinced about Rugani. He could become great but it’s more likely he won’t be.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino September 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

            I think he will be a great CB with some time. He was a star at Empoli, solid defender who plays with his head. He can learn a lot of our current defenders and I’m sure it won’t be so very long until he starts games

          • Avatar
            duder1897 September 16, 2015 at 8:38 am

            That would be great. But anything can happen.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino September 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm

            True, I would love to see him play some games this season, to get a better idea of him. He definitely has to play some games

    • Avatar
      Juventin1897 September 2, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      Coman for 28M is good business.

      Vidal for 10M more than Coman is horrid shit business and we let him walk.

      • Avatar
        duder1897 September 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm

        €28m is nothing in todays market.

        • Avatar
          Juventin1897 September 3, 2015 at 1:03 am

          So what kind of logic is that?

          We sold Vidal for 38M. 28M for Coman is a good price, he isnt proven and really doesnt impress many, including myself.

          38M for vidal is a joke.

          • Avatar
            duder1897 September 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

            Did I mention Vidal? No. €28m for Coman is pathetic. He will be worth 4 times that in 4 years.

      • Avatar
        duder1897 September 14, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        I agree with your last statement. Just wait and see about Coman. I think it’s a huge mistake.

    • Avatar
      JuveMondo September 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Why would finishing 3rd in CL group make you happy? teribble mindset. 28m for a kid who barely played for us is a great deal.

      • Avatar
        duder1897 September 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        Because 3rd means we are still alive in the Europa League. 4th place means we are done.

  • Avatar
    I miss Marco Branca September 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Why am I hearing so many bad things about Zaza? he’s the only person in the last 20 years that remotely resembles Gianluca Vialli and just the thought of that puts a smile to my face 🙂 Allegri is not a 3-5-2 coach he’s a 4 at the back kinda coach…..with a full squad we can 4-3-2-1 4-3-1-2- 4-3-3 he can rotate this team unlike conte who would burn our players out and we will greatly suited for CL……after some CL soccer under our belt the team will find the competition in serie a to be a cake walk so no need to worry !

    • Avatar
      Juventin1897 September 2, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Hes a solid Italian striker. Not much more. Comparable to a Baretto.

  • Avatar
    Peter September 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I agree we did quite well. Massively lowering the average age and buying players of potential which we have to do. Conan wasn’t happy so the money was good considering we got him for free. Kondogbia might have been a decent signing, I too would have liked to see another top midfield player join. Not convinced by mandukic either. I prefer morata and dybala

  • Avatar
    CabraJP September 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    too pessimistic, borderline unrealistic i would say

  • Avatar
    JuveKSA September 3, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Link for Italy vs Malta game

  • Avatar
    Martin Badger September 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I just hope Juve can win their next match. Losing a third would aggravate crisis talk and that might be terribly hard to stop. Forza Juve and new signings …do the business!

  • Avatar
    juve mulia November 28, 2015 at 10:22 am

    kingsley coman barter with t.muller from b.munich

  • Avatar
    juve mulia November 28, 2015 at 10:25 am

    juve the dream team;a.mulyadi(k);g.chiellini,m.hummel,l.bonucci,alex sandro;c.marchisio,florenzi,h.calhanoglu,p.pogba;s.saza-p.dybala/a.morata