The arrivals of Miralem Pjanic from AS Roma and Dani Alves from Barcelona coupled with their rumoured interest in Alexis Sanchez has made it clear for the observers: Juventus are charging for the Champions League crown come on June 3rd, 2017. While the departure of Alvaro Morata to Real Madrid after his parent club decided to exercise the buy-back option may have taken some shine of their impressive recruitment drive, their alleged chase of Javier Hernandez and Alexis Sanchez reinforces the belief that the Bianconeri are determined to land the prize that eluded them in 2015.
Old Lady gearing for European crown
The Impressive Incomings and the Noted Outgoings:
In the beginning of their 2015-2016 campaign, Juventus were written off after their first eight matches in Serie A.Not without a reason though. With the departures of Arturo Vidal to Bayern Munich and Andrea Pirlo to NYCFC, there was a huge void left in the midfield. Along the exit of Carlos Tevez to his boyhood club Boca Juniors,the old lady of Turin was robbed of a plethora of goals. Fernando Llorente’s move to Sevilla was another blow. It was the midfield though that drew much ire of the Pundits. With Pogba putting undue pressure upon himself, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Massimiliano Allegri’s men. The injury of Claudio Marchisio and the persistent injury problems of new arrival Sami Khedira meant constant fluctuations in team structure from Allegri. With the arrival of Miralem Pjanic from the Stadio Olimpico, the Juventus hierarchy seem to have learnt their lesson from last season and moved to address the problem. With Khedira’s latest fitness setback with his national team, rumours to them being linked to Leicester’s N’Golo Kante have surfaced. Acquiring his move would be well-advised for the Old lady. In the attack, the explosive debut from Paulo Dybala has softened the blow of Morata’s sale. However, another addition is an absolute must. With Simone Zaza still recovering from his horrific penalty against Germans and Mario Mandzukic’s underwhelming campaign with Croatia, adding the likes of Chicharito makes sense.
The departure of Alvaro Morata may be keenly felt by Max Allegri. While not prolific, the Spaniard had the habit of coming up with decisive goals. Perhaps his strikes in both legs against the Madridistas was the reason Florentino Perez sanctioned his buy. With his departure, Dybala is bound to feel burdened at some point. Mario Mandzukic’s struggles in the Serie A in the initial stages last season is well documented and something that even he himself had admitted. His Goalscoring prowess has been on the wane. It was not for no reason that his former club Atletico Madrid sanctioned traded him with Turin. Simone Zaza too would be looking for more assurance on playing time but one which is bound to be difficult to be guaranteed. As a result, he may too look to move on and relaunch his career somewhere else. While the Turin based club have an excellent record of sealing up moves of their transfer targets, they have had their blunders. The miss of Julian Draxler is a case in point. Hence, an accelerated sense of urgency would serve them well this time around.
Old Trafford, Santiago Bernabeu or Turin: Where will Pogba be?
No individual has hogged limelight like the France ace Paul Pogba has since the summer of 2015. While he was tempted to fill the void of Andrea Pirlo last time, he may not be relishing the prospect now.Therefore, the rebuff of excess of €80 million is unlikely to repeated this time around. While it is Ed Woodward who is leading the all consuming charge of the Manchester United hierarchy to acquire his signature, the rumours of his preference to play under Zinedine Zidane’s tutelage continue linking him to Bernabeu.While none of the clubs are short of the money required to snap him, Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta has been steadfast in his refusal to sell their star player. However the chances of Pogba kicking the ball in famous black and white stripes again look more and more and remote with each passing day. In case of his departure, the arrival of Alexis Sanchez becomes an absolute necessity and hence the desperation of the Bianconeri is understandable.
The arrivals don’t guarantee success, the same way as the departures don’t indicate failures. However good signings are an assurance against the adversity and the quality players do possess the capability to triumph at the end. Their 2015-16 Serie A crown is a testament to the above statement.