Here’s phase two of Juventus’ rebuild.
In part one, we compared the Bianconeri’s demise to Adam McKay’s ‘The Big Short’ and the 2008 economic crash before providing the first three steps on their path to redemption.
So, without further ado, let’s crack on with the final three steps in the club’s rebuilding process…
4. Keep Matthijs de Ligt
While signing a striker is Juventus’ number one priority this summer, retaining the services of Matthijs de Ligt has to be a close second.
The Dutchman was signed in the wake of leading a scintillating Ajax side to within touching distance of the Champions League final in 2019. De Ligt captained the side as a teenager, and his performance in the quarter-final second leg away at Juventus caught the eye of the Bianconeri hierarchy.
Juve fought off fierce competition to bring the defender to Turin in a £67.5m deal. They made him one of the club’s highest-earners with many projecting that he’d be the leader of the Old Lady throughout the 2020s.
However, before Allegri’s return, De Ligt’s Juventus career was indifferent at best. Various factors, including COVID-19 and injuries, ensured his acclimatisation period was a difficult one. But now, in year three, there’s no doubting that the Dutchman has finally hit his stride. The defender has arguably been Juve’s most consistent performer this term and his importance to the Bianconeri moving forward is untold.
He’s maturing by the game while elevating the levels of teammates around him. His love of defending and Viking-like mentality makes him the ideal fit for the grinta-obsessed Bianconeri and he’s a sure bet to earn the captaincy once Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini make way.
The desires of Mino Raiola, however, have thrust De Ligt’s Juventus future into a state of ambiguity. The gluttonous super-agent claims that his client wants out of Turin, but there are no signs of discontent on the Dutchman’s behalf. Raiola’s comments are all geared toward garnering some leverage in future contract negotiations with Juventus. He wants the defender’s release clause reduced to make him more accessible for potential suitors.
Despite Raiola’s best efforts, the likelihood of De Ligt leaving is Juventus this summer is low. Very few, if any, would be willing to match the Bianconeri’s lofty valuation of the player and unless the defender pushes hard for an exit, they have absolutely no reason whatsoever to sell. De Ligt may well be Juve’s most prized asset, and the club’s target this summer should be finding an ample long-term partner for the Dutchman, not his replacement.