Well, that was fun.
After beginning January with three weeks of indolence on the transfer front, Juventus then preceded to embark on a market spree that could come to define the club’s rebuild. The final week of the January mercato was hectic in Turin, but their business has left calcio quaking.
The tyrannical beast that subjugated its domestic competitors for almost a decade only recently is ready to re-emerge once more. The assault for Italian and European supremacy begins now!
By the time the window slammed shut, Juventus had conducted plenty of business in terms of both incomings and outgoings. And while only time will tell the objective success of their work, the immediate reaction is universally positive in Piedmont.
Here are our ratings of the Bianconeri’s moves.
Here are our transfer ratings for Juvnentus’ incomings in the 2022 January transfer window:
Dusan Vlahovic – Joined from Fiorentina (€75m+)
Juventus may have paid a pretty penny to bring Dusan Vlahovic to Turin in January, but his signing has the potential to be transformative.
The signing of a young, prolific forward was the crown jewel in Juve’s rebuilding process, and many of us expected him to arrive in the summer with that ‘him’ likely being Gianluca Scamacca. Vlahovic, while admired by the Bianconeri, was regarded as unattainable due to the finances involved to facilitate a move.
But the club’s hierarchy gave a polite middle finger to CEO Maurizio Arrivabene’s financial stability plea to put the vast majority of their eggs in Dusan’s basket. It’s certainly a gamble, but Juve are rightly confident that Vlahovic will justify his hefty price tag almost immediately and help the Bianconeri secure an imperative top-four spot come the end of the season.
The 22-year-old’s mindset is indefatigable and I have no doubts he’ll succeed in Turin and eventually emerge as the lead protagonist in Juventus’ ‘new era’. However, It may take some time for Vlahovic to match the proficiency he manifested in Florence as a result of his cautious new boss. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to see how Max Allegri goes about deploying his shiny new Serbian toy.
Transfer rating: 10/10
Denis Zakaria – Joined from Borussia Monchengladbach (€5m+)
Juventus have held an interest in Zakaria since last Autumn and throughout January they were considering a move.
However, when Arthur Melo’s potential loan to Arsenal fell through, it appeared that Allegri would be working with the same midfield core for the remainder of the season. Fortunately, Fabio Paratici’s desperation to appease Antonio Conte at Tottenham led the former Juventus director to Turin and, more specifically, Rodrigo Bentancur. Spurs moved swiftly late on in the window to wrap up a deal for the Uruguayan, which encouraged Juve to finally pursue Zakaria as his replacement.
This move is certainly of low risk considering the low fee and while Zakaria isn’t quite the same player he was pre-long-term knee injury, the Swiss international could evolve into the holding midfielder Allegri desperately needs to unlock Manuel Locatelli.
Overall, I believe the expectations of Juventino regarding Zakaria should be tempered slightly, but this deal has plenty of upside for Juventus.
Transfer rating: 8/10
Federico Gatti – Joined from Frosinone (€7m)
Admittedly, the name ‘Federico Gatti’ hadn’t entered my stream of consciousness before Juventus beat out several competitors to his signing in the dying embers of the window.
The Turin native and Torino supporting Gatti has a story that evokes feelings of unadulterated admiration. Just five years ago, Gatti was a bricklayer while plying his trade in the lower leagues for Pavarolo before his meteoric rise began. After spending time in Serie D and Serie C, the towering centre-back moved to Serie B outfit Frosinone last summer where he’s since embarked on a breakthrough campaign.
His stellar form in the second tier caught the eye of Inter Milan, Napoli and Torino with each club keen on brokering a deal. But it was Juventus who swooped to sign the 23-year-old for €7m before loaning him back to Frosinone for the remainder of the season.
It’s smart business from the Bianconeri, who may well have to further address their centre-back position in the summer. Nevertheless, bringing in the ascending Gatti for a low fee in January is a brilliant start to rejuvenating the position.
Transfer rating: 8/10