Juventus are miles off where they once were, and where they ought to be. The Bianconeri’s decline from European superpower to outright mediocrity has been well-documented with the factors for their malaise wide-ranging.
But, to be honest with you, it’s getting quite depressing perpetually articulating Juve’s woes and pinpointing every ill-fated decision or tactical ploy that has culminated in the Old Lady’s current seventh-place standing in Serie A.
It’s about time we look toward the future and how Juventus can set about returning to the summit of Calcio.
Steps have been taken in the transfer market to build a strong core capable of thrusting Juventus back to the upper echelons of European football. Matthijs de Ligt, Federico Chiesa and Manuel Locatelli have joined the club since 2019 and there’s hope each of these potential superstars will remain in Turin for the long haul. Mastering the transfer market is the key for Juventus to rise once more, with the upcoming January and next summer’s transfer windows perhaps the most significant in the club’s modern history.
With the financial strains of the pandemic still lingering, funds will have to be raised via various player sales but there’s hope Juventus will be able to pull off one or two statement moves.
Here are two potential signings that could transform a rebuilding Juventus.
In one of the best Juventus teams of all time, maverick midfielder Paul Pogba was the star. The towering Frenchman was a cheat code in Turin; boasting the power of a superhero, dazzling feet of a ballerina and the finesse of a Gordon Ramsey-crafted plate of food.
Juventus’ midfield hasn’t been the same since he departed for Manchester United in 2016. Initially, Allegri stumbled upon a functional, well-balanced trio that worked as an effective engine room amid the Bianconeri’s progression into the 2017 Champions League final. Thereafter, Juve’s midfield evolved from impressive but unspectacular functionality to outright incompetence.
Their midfield woes peaked under Andrea Pirlo, with the club attempting to rectify their issues by signing Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo. While the Italian international has impressed since his arrival, Allegri, on his return to the club, has struggled to stumble upon the ideal midfield combination.
However, the manager could snag his next Pogba in 2022. Alfred Pedulla (via @BianconeriZone) reports that Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch is a player Juventus “appreciates” and he was reportedly discussed in a recent meeting between Mino Raiola, Gravenberch’s agent, and the Juve hierarchy.
Dutch teenager Gravenberch is a magnificent footballer and well worthy of the acclaim he’s received over the past 18 months. He stands out physically, contributes in all phases and his talent has been moulded to work in harmony with the progressive ideals of Erik ten Hag.
Juventus are destined to refresh their midfield in 2022, but the vast majority of their reported targets have been underwhelming. On the contrary, Gravenberch is a superstar in the making and a talent capable of reshaping the Bianconeri’s midfield alongside Locatelli.
But, this will be an incredibly hard deal for Juventus to pull off. Ajax will likely demand a hefty fee, with the Dutchman interesting several members of Europe’s elite.
Check out FBRef’s full scouting report of Ryan Gravenberch here.