Bold attitude flows through his veins, as indicated by the tally of 21 yellow cards he has had received since joining PSG in 2019. He is Leandro Paredes.
A risk-taker by nature, Paredes broke into the scene during his one-year loan spell at FC Empoli. A youngster from Argentina’s Boca Juniors academy travelled via plane to Rome for the first time in 2014.
AS Roma was the interested party. They sealed a season-long loan deal with an option to buy the robust Argentinian permanently for €4.5 million, without even noticing that they had run out of non-EU registration quota for international transfer.
In what was an unanticipated move in the January transfer window, Chievo Verona took the responsibility to keep him at their club for the remainder of the 2013-14 season. A few months later, the young Paredes eventually moved to La Lupa, spent his first full-season at Italy, and then signed a permanent contract there.
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However, a permanent contract didn’t mean a permanent shelter in the capital. In 2015, he was sent out on loan to Empoli — the club distinctly responsible for kickstarting the San Justo-born professional’s career.
He experienced 2,481 minutes of Serie A football there and garnered a heap of plaudits alongside some healthy interest. He was a star in an Empoli batch that had other gems like Riccardo Saponara and Piotr Zieliński.
After spending the following season in Rome, he found no joy in pursuing his career on the land, where individuals such as Daniele De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan, and Kevin Strootman were already bossing the midfield.
While joining a club like Paris Saint Germain was surely an accomplishment for the Argentina international and a renewed way to reconstruct his professional career, inconsistency has been a barricade between him retaining his place in the PSG starting line-up and the one sitting and gossiping around the substitute bench.
What is up with Leandro Paredes now?
The report from Calciomercato belives PSG might sell Leandro Paredes this summer. The names of Inter Milan and Juventus have been mentioned amongst the top suitors for the midfield outlet.
It has also been revealed that PSG proposed a deal to sign Miralem Pjanic a year back — a deal that included the permanent services of Leandro Paredes in exchange. However, Juventus chose not to go down that road at that time.
The aforementioned story claims that Mauricio Pochettino, Paredes’ compatriot, remains unimpressed with the midfielder’s performances despite offering him 1,193 minutes of football since his arrival at Paris following the sacking of former manager Thomas Tuchel last December.
Despite being considered one of the top financial powerhouses across Europe, PSG is understood to make smart plans to alleviate the onus of the economic crisis inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, in order to recruit some preferred options from the market, the French side could opt to produce some cunning swap deals.
Leandro Paredes, who is under the contract of PSG until June 2023, could yet again be included in a swap deal this summer.
Juventus and their midfield chaos…
When Paredes was offered to the Old Lady, they were not experiencing the vulnerabilities in the midfield area they are now. The Bianconeri has been undergoing a gradual degradation in both collective and individual qualities.
The team’s midfield makes so many mistakes these days that their manager has been forced to deploy a natural full-back, Danilo, in the midfield.
It is a broad array of underperforming midfielders that might have already cost Juventus their 10th successive Scudetto.
As mentioned before, Pirlo usually prefers to play a narrow double pivot in the midfield with two wide midfielders (though, Weston McKennie’s preference to hover inside sometimes help Juve make a three-man midfield and let the covering full-back provide the width with his overlapping runs).
But when the fault lies in the midfield tandem, nothing can stop a team from experiencing misery. Andrea Pirlo doesn’t anymore keep faith in Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey, as proved by their omission from the starting line-up in the Derby della Mole last Saturday.
The partnership of Arthur and Bentancur could be the midfield combination Andrea Pirlo would ultimately opt to use, especially after the drastic failure in the experiments with Danilo last time, for the rest of the 2020-21 season.
What could Paredes add to Juventus?
A defensive midfielder by trade, Leandro Paredes knows the Italian game, having spent three years playing in the respective league early in his career.
As his scouting report prepared by Statsbomb (via Fbref.com) showcases, the 26-year-old is a prolific distributor of the ball. And if eyes are to be believed, he is a confident individual on the ball and a pace-setter of a game too.
His art of shielding the ball and generally doing the dirty works for the team make him a notable asset on the pitch and a different player from the rest.
Juventus need an aggressive presence like him in the midfield. The likes of Arthur and Bentancur are not deemed physically strong and more than often found getting bullied by their more physical counterparts.
However, being technically shrewd, they most of the time get away with those congested situations. But having the presence of a robust figure like Leandro Paredes, who talks with bodily strength, would surely accommodate their individual traits and make things look easy for the Bianconeri.
Juventus have a long list of players who are currently surpluses to Andrea Pirlo’s requirements. That being said, Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey have even been linked with a summer move away from Turin. Juventus, to eliminate the risk of any further financial loss, could offer one of them in exchange for Paredes.