Blaise Matuidi sent his former club an ominous warning after news of Paulo Dybala’s future broke: “He is a great football and a great person. I am surprised to see him leave, it won’t be easy to replace him and find another player of his calibre.”
The Frenchman’s right; it will be tough for Juventus to replace Dybala and the club’s search for his successor won’t be a simple, linear one. However, for so long the Bianconeri maintained a reputation for losing their stars yet continuing to shine. We saw it with Paolo Rossi and Marco Tardelli towards the end of Giovanni Trapattoni’s first all-conquering spell as manager, and then with Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravenelli in the wake of the 1995 Bosman ruling.
More recently, Juve have struggled, as we’ve seen following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer. While the Old Lady haven’t exactly got worse under Massimiliano Allegri, they’ve failed to rebound and have instead laid the foundations for a successful rebuild.
Dybala’s exit was deemed necessary for said rebuild to hasten, but they must nail his replacement.
4 ways Juventus could replace Paulo Dybala this summer
There are various ways Juve could go about their search and we’ve provided four down below.
1. Go big in midfield
Despite the arrivals of Arthur Melo and Manuel Locatelli in back-to-back summers and Denis Zakaria in January, Juventus still require upgrades in midfield. They desperately lack invention.
Various reports suggest the club are going to make a big splash in midfield this summer and essentially kill two birds with one stone. By bringing in a creative midfielder capable of playing as a mezzala in the 4-3-3 Allegri is supposedly going to adopt next season, the Bianconeri will not only fix their creativity issues from midfield, but they’ll also be mitigating the loss of Dybala.
Juve have been linked with potential free agent Paul Pogba this summer, while Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been a long-term target. Both players are huge names but their profiles vary. Pogba is a master with the ball at his feet, capable of pretty much anything in possession, while Milinkovic-Savic is a physical powerhouse. The Serb’s an aerial phenomenon and a distinct threat in the opposition’s penalty area.
Other targets, meanwhile, such as Sassuolo’s Davide Frattesi and Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong offer lung-busting runs from midfield. They’re constantly willing to penetrate in behind.
Pogba is probably the only bonafide creator on this list, but each of Juve’s midfield targets boast alternate skill sets and their own interpretations of the playmaking art form.