Considering that you are one of our regular visitors at Old Juve, you know the deal by now. But, for those who have missed, yes, Gianluca Frabotta—once thought to be the future of Juventus football club—is closing in on moving to Atalanta on a season-long loan deal with an obligation for a permanent buy. What does it mean to the player and both clubs? We have already covered it.
Now, it is time to dive deep into more concerning matters. The departure of one player creates a gap in the squad, and then it becomes the club’s responsibility to fill the void so the team can tackle every adverse possibility in the future.
As the saying goes, keeping a backup for each position becomes not a choice but a necessity. With fixtures coming thick and fast and teams playing almost two matches every week, backup in each position provides the manager with options to rotate his squad accordingly.
Juventus, lambasted by the financial limitations amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be looking to bring in replacements for Frabotta. Without any further time-wasting, let us jump into the candidates Juventus have been seeing as a backup option for the left-back position and gauge their possibilities of arriving at Turin this summer.
Ramy Bensebaini: A decent option?
The faithful Bundesliga observers would tell all the good things about this Borussia Mönchengladbach left-back, Ramy Bensebaini. Making 25 league appearances in Germany last season, the Algerian international became one of Mönchengladbach’s standout performers. He had four goals, including one successful penalty, to his name. But would he be a decent backup option for Juventus’ top pick Alex Sandro?
To find the answer, we visit Bensebaini’s FBref profile and then compare his p90 (per 90 minutes) stats to Sandro’s. The result that we find is astounding. Bensebaini, as believed by many Mönchengladbach fans, is a defensive-minded full-back who prefers keeping it close with the team’s backline over bombing forward and putting in crosses into the box.
Per the stats from FBref.com, he accumulated an xA [expected assists] of 0.02 per 90 minutes last season in Bundesliga, meaning if he would’ve played 100 matches last season, he might’ve been able to rack up only two assists. For a left full-back, that could’ve been absolutely abysmal.
On the other hand, when we look at his defensive attributes, his numbers surpass the ones of Alex Sandro in each aspect including pressures (Bensebaini’s 13.07 p90 to Sandro’s 9.14 p90), tackles (Bensebaini’s 2.51 p90 to Sandro’s 1.87 p90), interceptions (Bensebaini’s 3.11 p90 to Sandro’s 1.20 p90), blocks (Bensebaini’s 2.63 p90 to Sandro’s 1.77 p90), clearances (Bensebaini’s 4.98 p90 to Sandro’s 2.24 p90), and aerials duels (Bensebaini’s 2.35 p90 to Sandro’s 2.07 p90).
The distinction of attributes between Bensebaini and Sandro is so contradictory that it makes us wonder what a monstrous left-back the hybrid of these two would’ve made! His defensive suitability and aptness are the reasons he can easily be deployed in other less-offensive roles.
Calciomercato.com claims that the German club could be convinced to sell Bensebaini for a fee of around €25 million this summer. But Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma entering the fray could see the initiation of a bidding war for the 26-year-old full-back, which Juventus would like to and should avoid under the current circumstances.