4. Number ten & switch to 4-2-3-1
This is perhaps the least likely option: Juventus find a like-for-like replacement. Dybala’s a unique breed of playmaker, and one that’s hard to come by in 2022.
While the Argentine is capable of drifting in off the right in a 4-3-3, I’d describe his ideal function as a free-roaming number ten. He’s the archetypal trequartista that Ariggo Sacchi attempted to eliminate all those years ago as he un-Italianised calcio with his zonal marking, high pressing and ubiquitous 4-4-2.
And while the number ten has enjoyed brief resurgences throughout the 21st century, it’s a position that’s no longer celebrated as it once was across Europe, particularly in Italy. Thus, finding a like-for-like replacement for Dybala is almost impossible.
However, Juve could move to a 4-2-3-1 – which many believed to be the plan this season – and introduce a number ten who offers a little more than La Joya in the defensive phase and on the counter-attack. The number ten will roam between the lines and be the hub of the Bianconeri’s creativity, but it’ll likely mean that the structure put in place by Allegri this season will be retained for 2022/23 – a lopsided 3-2-4-1/3-1-5-1 in possession and 4-4-2 out of it.
Sassuolo’s Raspadori is a great candidate if Juve go down this route. The diminutive Italian is a more explosive version of Dybala. Zaniolo, too, is another possibility. He’s played centrally for Jose Mourinho at AS Roma as a second striker this season, excelling in transition.