Juventus selling Merih Demiral: a mistake or shrewd business?

Juventus, Merih Demiral (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)
Juventus, Merih Demiral (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /

Was it supposed to go this way? While announcing the arrival of Merih Demiral on their official website, Juventus wrapped up their statement with the ending phrase: “A new adventure begins for him now. Welcome!” They surely couldn’t have been regarding a two-year stint as something tremendously adventurous. Well, as it seems, the so-called adventure of Merih Demiral at Juventus is about to end sooner rather than later.

Signed from Sassuolo for a reported transfer fee of €18 million in 2019, Demiral has been extensively linked with a move to Atalanta, a potential challenger for this season’s Scudetto.

What are the supposed terms of the deal?

As reported earlier, Juventus want to sell Merih Demiral on loan. But with an option to buy included in the terms, it is unlikely that the Bianconeri would get to cherish Demiral’s services ever again. It has been claimed that the loan fee would be around €5 million with an option to buy worth €25 million. The option for the permanent buy will come into play at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Atalanta have reportedly agreed on selling star defender Cristian Romero to Tottenham Hotspur for around £47 million. 23-year-old Romero was declared as Serie A’s best defender for the 2020/21 season. His departure from Bergamo will obviously leave a huge void within the club’s defensive department.

Demiral’s motivation behind the switch…

Despite signing 21-year-old Matteo Lovato from Hellas Verona, Gian Piero Gasperini sees Demiral as the fitting successor to the Argentine. On the other hand, Demiral is yearning for regular first-team football at the senior club level.

The 23-year-old played only 1,661 minutes of football across 24 appearances (as per Transfermarkt) in all competitions for the Bianconeri last season. It is not what the Turkish defender would want, although his campaign was blighted by injury.

Moving to Atalanta means more chances to play football at the highest level of the footballing landscape. Therefore, it is believed that Demiral is also interested in switching parties this summer.

What does seem to be Juventus’ plan regarding their defence?

The very reliable Romeo Agresti (via @ForzaJuveEN Twitter) has claimed that Juventus are not considering signing a new centre-back this summer, with Radu Dragusin and Daniele Rugani staying at Allegri’s disposal.

Excluding Demiral, the current Juventus squad consists of five senior defenders: Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci, Rugani, Dragusin, and Giorgio Chiellini, who has recently extended his contract with Juventus until June 2023.

Amid the pandemic-impacted transfer market, the sale of Demiral for around €5 million (loan fee) and around €25 million in the permanent buy option might seem a shrewd piece of business to the Juventus hierarchy. But is that so? Let’s now dive deep into predictable ramifications!

Juventus are wrong to sell Demiral, no?

Since the rumour of Demiral potentially leaving Juventus broke out, Bianconeri fans have continued to display their dissatisfaction with the future planning of the club. What has worsened the situation is that they intend to sign no one to replace an impactful young prodigy such as Demiral in this summer transfer market.

Selling Demiral surely opposes the law of sanity, but not signing a replacement is something much more damaging than that. As shown above, that leaves Juve with only five senior options under Allegri’s wings.

Now, what could go possibly wrong? Bonucci and Chiellini have led Italy to a European Championship glory this summer. They are capable of leading this Juventus side and have the experience that requires to do so. But it would be better not to overlook their injury records over the last season or two.

As per the data from Transfermarkt, Bonucci had two muscle injuries last season, while Chiellini sustained at least five serious injuries over the course of the previous campaign. The 36-year-old also missed a pair of matches during the Azzurri’s Euros triumph due to a leg injury.

Obviously, there is no evidence to suggest that the pairing of Bonucci and Chiellini would be fit for the entirety of the 2021/22 season. Once lauded very highly by Italian media and supporters, Daniele Rugani has returned from his loan spell at Cagliari. Whether or not he will be able to lessen mistakes and find some consistency remains to be seen.

Then, we have Radu Dragusin. The 19-year-old has potential as, they thought, Demiral also had.

Finally, it comes down to just one man, Matthijs de Ligt, who’s had his struggles since making the mega switch from Ajax to Juventus, but is swiftly blossoming into one of Europe’s most dominant defenders.

Matthijs de Ligt will have a huge role to play for Juventus this season (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Matthijs de Ligt will have a huge role to play for Juventus this season (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images) /

So, we can make a burden full of hope and place it on the broad shoulders of de Ligt, the youngest-ever captain of Ajax. Going into the new season, does this defensive line-up look sensible at all? Do you perceive Juventus as the Scudetto aspirants for the next season with this defensive roster? If yes, then you have a brave heart. If no, then my friend, you and I are on the same boat.

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Sorrowly, we are expecting Demiral to leave Juventus at a stage when this club needs him the most. Would it be the same as 2020 when Juventus let Cristian Romero leave on loan? After one year of hustle in Bergamo, he is now on his way to London. Perhaps Merih Demiral was never fated to make a name for himself at Juventus — something that the heartbroken Juventus enthusiasts could tell to satisfy their quest for the reason behind this abrupt and irrational Demrial deal.