Juventus rounded off 2021 by going unbeaten in December. It was an atypical end to a tumultuous calendar year for the Bianconeri, who’ll enter 2022 fifth in Serie A after results on Matchday 19 went their way.
Six contests took place in December amid a rather condensed schedule for Massimiliano Allegri’s men. The Juventus boss had to deal with several injury issues during this period, meaning very few qualified for our December Player of the Month award. We had enough to make a top three, though. Don’t fear.
Three starts ensured players of qualification this time around and the player who garnered the highest average rating from their starts in December will be crowned as Old Juve’s final Player of the Month in 2021.
But who earned the illustrious award to conclude the year? Let’s find out!
3rd. Luca Pellegrini & Rodrigo Bentancur (Average Rating – 6.5)
We have a tie for third-place between emerging full-back Luca Pellegrini and midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Pellegrini has been a breath of fresh air down Juventus’ left-hand side and he played a starring role in the victory over Genoa before registering an assist in the draw with Venezia. Allegri’s unjustified trust in declining veteran Alex Sandro means Pellegrini hasn’t been ubiquitous in the Juventus XI despite his distinct superiority. Hopefully, his presence is more persistent in 2022.
Joining him in third is Bentancur, and that might surprise some. The Uruguayan can seemingly do nothing right in the eyes of Juventini, but he was objectively impressive early on in December against Genoa and Malmo. Those displays earned him a pair of 7.0 ratings, which were enough for him to sneak into our top three.
However, Allegri appears unconvinced by Bentancur, and his disappointing end to the month may set the stage for 2022.
2nd. Matthijs de Ligt (Average Rating – 7.0)
Mino Raiola comments aside, it’s been yet another fine month for Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutchman put together a string of performances in December worthy of an impressive 7.0 average rating.
De Ligt produced cool and composed showings against Genoa, Venezia and Cagliari, while his performance against Bologna was superb. The 22-year-old was at his dominant best in Emilia-Romagna as he mitigated the threats of Marko Arnautovic and Musa Barrow with consummate ease.
De Ligt’s recent form neatly summated his importance to the Bianconeri moving forward. He’s an asset Juventus must retain beyond next summer. Even if that’s against the wish of his dollar-searching agent.
1st. Federico Bernardeschi (Average Rating – 7.4)
Well, well, well. Who would’ve thought it, eh? Federico Bernardeschi: December 2021 Player of the Month!
Enjoy it. Embrace it. Drink it in.
All jokes aside, Bernardeschi was a model of consistency in December and more than deserving of this award. The Italian, who will surely be offered a contract extension by the club at some point before next summer, has functioned as Allegri’s reliable utility man performing various roles in multiple systems.
He’s been productive as well. In December, Bernardeschi led all Juventus players in goal contributions (four), shots (18) and chances created (18).
He crucially stepped up with Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa absent and his winter remontada culminated in him ending his 513-goal drought against Cagliari.
The standing ovation he departed to on Tuesday night felt like a cathartic concluding act to the Federico Bernardeschi comeback story.