Written by Dan Anjos
After winning their 5th Serie A in a row, Juventus have made some great business in the market adding talent and depth to their already great squad. I look into why I believe they can be dark horses in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
credit Alex Schmitt
In goal they have Gianluigi Buffon, despite being 38 his class is still permanent. Buffon still remains one of the finest keepers in Europe. The back up Neto is an established goalkeeper in the Italian league too. On the right hand side of defence they can count on new addition Dani Alves and Stephan Lichsteiner. Both are not the youngest at 33 and 32 but both are excellent. Dani Alves has been Europe’s best right back in the last 10 years. Whilst Lichsteiner is in his own right an excellent player. In the centre of defence they can count on Chiellini, Bonnuci, Barzagli, Benatia and Rugani. The first 4 are defenders with huge amounts of talent and experience whilst Rugani is a player with a lot of potential. The quality that they have offers Allegri the opportunity to stick to a back 3 instead of a back 4. In the left side of defence they can count on Evra and Alex Sandro. Evra is hugely experienced whilst Alex Sandro is one of Europe’s finer left backs, a complete modern day full back. With the only player from defence likely to leave being is Paolo de Ceglie. Juventus in defense definitely have enough quality to be able to rotate the squad between Serie A and the Champions league. Most teams will be envious of such good quality to be able to pick from.
Over in midfield, they have Serie A’s strongest midfield. Centrally counting with players like Khedira, Hernanes, Pjanic and still Pogba. Pjanic is the Serie’s A 2nd best midfielder and also was a key point of Roma’s team so in his signing they have definitely weakened one of their direct rivals. Marchisio and Lemina are still there too in total making it 6 midfielders that would get into any other Serie A team.Whilst they have some young talent like Rolando Mandragora. Players like Asamoah,Sturaro and Pereyra are still at the club despite being likely that one or two leaving, it does seem that Allegri central core of midfield is very solid. It will have to be if he opts for the usual 3 defenders instead of a back 4. Their midfield has vision and power whilst remaining very balanced. Khedira offers defensive protectiveness whilst the likes of Pjanic, Pogba and Hernanes offer mid to long range shot as well as the final ball ability to win games.
To win games you need goals and for goals you need top strikers. This is where after announcing Higuain, Juventus look a threat once again to the likes of Bayern, Real and Barcelona. With Dybala and Higuain as their main two strikers. It definitely offers goals after goals. Dybala is still young at 22 but is already one of the world’s best striker with margin to become even more influential. He is not your classic box striker but instead a player that will complement Higuain.With Mario Mandzukic on the bench they also have some aerial threat and goal scoring ability from the bench. Whilst Zaza is a good player in the Serie A.
Allegri now has a squad with a lot of depth and talent in every position.This is the type of headache that managers want to have. He will be able to rotate the squad with ease allowing him to have his strongest team out in the Champions league. Winning the Champions league is their main objective this season. With that in mind and with the ease they seem to win their league it is likely that they will outfield a weaker team when the Champions league is around the corner. If the key players like Buffon stay injury-free that will be half way to being able to rotate a squad for performance objectives not out of injury needs. Injuries are what can make or kill a season. Also with so much depth in the squad it offers tactical flexibility. Allegri can easily play a 352 or a 4231 or even different formations. He knows the player he has are good enough to perform in any formation.
credit Nazionale Calcio
Juventus have been one of the transfer kings so far. Signing Dani Alves on a free will always be a great piece of business. Lemina’s signiing for £8m after impressing last year on loan. Pjaca signing for almost £20m after being excellent for Dynamo Zagreb and then Croatia. His age considered too shows that it has potential to be a very good player without having to break the bank. Pjanic was a masterstroke signing for £27m considering how we have seen Liverpool sign Wijnaldum for £25m. Pjanic comes from rivals Roma, weakening them but at the same time they did not make enough money to buy a replacement with such high quality. Their main signing so far is Gonzalo Higuain. He was the missing piece of the puzzle I think. His price fee of £75m is a lot but he is one of the world’s top striker and now a days you pay a premium for that. When Chelsea sign Batshuyai for £40m, paying an extra £35m for someone who is as good as El pipita seems a lot more reasonable. It is likely they will lose Pogba for an astronomical fee that will cover all the transfers that have done this summer. They have obviously lost Morata to Real Madrid but they made a profit on him as well as upgrading their striker force with Higuain.
Whilst they will not be favourites for the UCL, I think they could definitely push for the final and maybe with a bit of luck win it.
How far do you see Juventus going in the Champions League so far? How strong is their squad compared to the likes of Barcelona’s? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Alex Schmitt