Everyone by now has heard that Juventus has an incomplete and incompetent midfield. The full-backs are not exactly top tier either.
Since Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and then Paul Pogba left while Claudio Marchisio suffered due to injury, the Bianconeri have struggled to rebuild their midfield. Perhaps only Miralem Pjanic- the Bosnian signing who joined from Roma- could be considered as a quality and suitable signing for Juve’s midfield since the departure of Pirlo, Vidal and Pogba.
Pjanic has since moved to Barcelona while the club bet heavily on two free signings Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey, both of whom have done little to justify the massive salary they still earn to this day.
However, the midfield is not the only concern for a club with big objectives and a grand vision. The full-backs have struggled to deliver with the situation becoming worse as Danilo looked unimpressive playing as a full-back under Maurizio Sarri. Danilo has steadied the ship this season under Andrea Pirlo but not as a right-back or left-back while Juan Cuadrado has been filling-in as a right-back.
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Below are some options to strengthen the squad including offloading some of the undesired players and fixing the problem in midfield and other positions.
1) Target Lyon’s Aouar as well as Memphis Depay. Depay did not do well while with Manchester United, yet he has done well with Lyon and with the Dutch national team. He recently turned 27 and, more importantly, he can join on a free transfer. He is almost certainly going to demand a considerable salary but that can be addressed if certain players are sold.
As for Aouar, some of the options may include sending the likes of De Sciglio and Douglas Costa as well as a reasonable fee to secure his signing. Aouar has done well for Lyon and has been for the most part impressive in Europe whenever he played. Aouar turns 23 in June yet he already has experience playing in the Champions League as well as having four seasons of regular football with the French club.
2) Sign Manuel Locatelli in the summer. Locatelli will not be an inexpensive signing because his stock continues to rise. He is only 23-years-old. Signing him as well as Aouar may prove to be the needed boost to revamp Juve’s faltering midfield. He is featuring regularly for Italy now earning all of his six caps in 2020.
3) Free signings in summer of 2021. There is a long list of players available on a free transfer this summer, yet clearly the club cannot just jump to sign as many of them because we have seen what has transpired with Ramsey and even Rabiot.
On paper Sergio Aguero may sound like a bad idea because he is turning 33 and has had injury and fitness problems last season as well as for the majority of this campaign. Could he turn a corner and perhaps provide 18 to 24 months of quality football and goals? It is possible but he should not be a priority.
Another risky name is that of Sergio Ramos- the Real Madrid veteran- who has won every trophy at club level and almost all there is to win with the national team. Sadly it should have been Giorgio Chiellini providing the in-game advice and helping Matthijs de Ligt continue to rise as a Colossus in defense. Unfortunately Chiellini spends more time rehabilitating than playing so the door could be open for a Ramos-Ronaldo (CR7) reunion in Turin. Ramos is not a priority unless the club is desperate to win the Champions League next season because the Spaniard can add experience, leadership and (frankly) deception too.
Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum is an interesting option who does not get enough attention but he is also available in the summer. Could he be on his way to Turin just as Emre Can before him? If it happens, fans will be hoping he will have a much greater impact than Can. It is uncertain whether management will consider him but who could have predicted Juve will sign Can before it officially happened?
Finally, two other names spring to mind and both can be useful for the short-term and beyond. The first is Bayern Munich’s David Alaba who can be quite useful as a left-back or can serve as a centre-back. Alaba would bring plenty of experience and has the winning mentality but can Juve afford his salary demands?
The other name is none other than Milan’s young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. He just turned 22 yet he already has over 200 league appearances and over 20 (Azzurri) caps. That could be a sensational signing as it may also unsettle a future contender in Milan. It would send a strong signal to Juve’s challengers that the club is ready and willing to delve deep in the transfer market to remain at the top.
This summer transfer campaign may turn out to be the club’s most important one in years because the future of Cristiano Ronaldo is up for discussion as well. Will CR7 extend his contract for a further year or two? If so, at what salary range? That could also prove detrimental financially to the club’s wage structure. Keep in mind CR7 is a big reason why Juve’s popularity has skyrocketed worldwide and one of the key reasons we see people wearing the Juve kit- often with the number 7 on the back.
The ball is in the management’s court and they cannot waste this summer because this would set the club years behind if the wrong decisions are made.