Eleven days after the end of the January transfer market window, Juventus announced the signing of Aaron Ramsey for next summer, which was secured weeks, if not months, ago. The Bosman move will cost the club only €3.7M in agents’ fees, while the midfielder has penned a four-year contract, with a reported €7M salary.
Ramsey has been a regular at Arsenal since 2010 and racked up 359 appearances with the Gunners, scoring 61 goals and providing 64 assists. In London, he has won the FA Cup and the Community Shield three times. The 28-year-old will be the third Welsh in the history of the Bianconeri after John Charles in the late 50’s and Ian Rush in the 80’s.
He joins a long list of players who moved to Turin for free at the end of their contract, a strategy that has brought aboard Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Sami Khedira, Emre Can, Fernando Llorente e Dani Alves, among others, in recent years. It will be an interesting to see how he will be used since he will be the most offensive-minded central midfielder Massimiliano Allegri has had at his disposal thus far.
Sporting director Fabio Paratici gave a wide-ranging interview to Gazzetta dello Sport. He described the recent acquisition: “We signed him, but he is different from our own, he is a type of player that we are missing. He is more technical than our box-to-box, he is less gritty defensively even though he runs a lot, he looks for the assist and has a nose for the goal. I think he has not found his position yet, he can work in a three-man midfield since he can cut and move the ball. Or he can play as no.10.”
On the leaked piece of paper with few targets on it: “We were meeting with Genoa and we wrote down some players we had discussed. But those are only some of the hundreds we are after.”
He repeated the story of how the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer materialized, as the player had signaled his desire to move to Juventus very early and then talks heated up while negotiating with Jorge Mendes for Joao Cancelo. He added: “I was happy that Andrea Agnelli and Pavel Nedved did not laugh at me in that meeting and did not throw me out of the office. Giuseppe Marotta was not present in the first one, but he certainly was in the second and he was in favour of the move and never opposed it. I figured that we had two ways to motivate the team: one was Cristiano, the other was to buy Mauro Icardi and created a big mess. But he was not a real target. Andrea is a manager, not only the president, he knows football and business and he wants to make Juventus even bigger. He is super quick in taking decision, he briefly discussed it with other people and then gave the greenlight.”
On Paulo Dybala: “He is my second proudest acquisition, because it was a tough one. He was supposed to replace Carlos Tevez, which was not easy. We had just played in a Champions League final and we were about to spend €40M for a player that scored 13 goals at Palermo. It was scary. He will stay here, only players that wants to go leave Juventus. It is hard to improve our squad. We can upgrade in that position only with Lionel Messi, I already have doubts on Neymar being better than Dybala. You can always count on him, he always leaves his mark on the games.”
On Paul Pogba: “The player I was the sorriest to sell was Arturo Vidal, who is a great talent. That is because we had taken for granted that Pogba was going to leave: we resisted one or two years, but then it was inevitable. Vidal was one of us, he was here from the beginning. I do not think Pogba will come back, you never know in football but it is very difficult.”
On some Italian prospects: “My favourite ones are Nicolò Zaniolo, Federico Chiesa, Nicolò Barella and Sandro Tonali. Tonali is a great guy, he is serious and charismatic. I do not think he is comparable to Pirlo though, he is the best one I have ever seen, there will be nobody like him in 35 years. He had complete knowledge of the game and of the rhythms. He was a maestro and a first fiddle at the same time. He saw the pitch from above, like he was flying and dished unthinkable passes always at the right times.”
On James Rodriguez: “He is surely a top player, but we will see. Doing better than Douglas Costa, Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado is really difficult. Banally, the first thing one is my position has to do is to avoid doing damage and make the team worse. It looks easy but it is not. We have sold only three starters in the last nine years, then we took back Leonardo Bonucci, so really just two, Vidal and Pogba. Pirlo moved to the States, Tevez in Argentina. We tried to ameliorate year after year. The roster and the balance sheets go hand-in-hand, we grew on the sports side but also economically in the last few years.”
On Moise Kean: “He is a great striker, he will be able to score a lot in Champions League, we will see him for several years in Europe. We need to follow his evolution because at 18 you can go through some unpredictable changes. He is already a Juventus-caliber player, he is part of the squad not as favour, but because he has immense potential.”
On a dream purchase: “We already have my favourite one. I would like to buy another Pirlo, but there is nobody like him now. Maybe Frenkie De Jong, who joined Barcelona.”
How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!