Juventus remain tied first in Serie A, are in the semi-final of Coppa Italia and are still in the Champions League. Despite still being in contention on all three fronts, Juve’s unimpressive performances- for an extended period of time- highlight the need for change at the club.
Several players must be sold or released from their contract. Below is a list of the players who should no longer be part of the Bianconeri squad for 2020/21 season:
Mattia de Sciglio
The Italian full-back is often sidelined by injury or fitness concerns. There are three advantages to keeping Mattia: his relatively low salary, his ability to play as right-back or full-back and the fact he is Italian.
No wonder the Juve supporters- at least on social media- were divided when word broke out about a potential swap deal which would involve Mattia joining French champions PSG.
While de Sciglio has experience with Italy as well, there’s no point denying that he is often injured. He has featured even less than Aaron Ramsey and Douglas Costa- two other injury-prone players who have played more minutes than Mattia in the Italian league.
Rugani is still 25-years-old but his future at Juve appears to be coming to an end. Every season the expectation is that Rugani will get more playing time and his chance to prove he can cut it at a massive club such as Juve.
So far this season he has managed a single appearance in Serie A. This is despite captain Giorgio Chiellini’s heartbreaking injury during the first weekend of action in Italy. Young signings Merih Demiral and Matthijs de Ligt have stolen the spotlight and already showed they are much more prepared to start for Juve this season.
Despite Demiral’s unfortunate injury, Rugani still cannot get any playing time with de Ligt partnering club captain Leonardo Bonucci in the heart of the defense. With Chiellini expected to return to action soon, it’s hard imagining Rugani getting much playing time. The best outcome for both club and player would be for Rugani to move elsewhere to cement his place as a starter while Juve can earn a decent fee from his sale.
The veteran midfielder- a former World Cup winner- turns 33 years-old before the end of the season. The German has started just 9 league games (with another 3 substitute appearances) in Serie A this season. Last season, he started just 8 times in the league with another 2 appearances as a substitute.
Such stats highlight not just the player’s inability to remain injury free but also his declining ability on a squad in desperate need of physical presence and younger legs to cover more ground. Khedira is also among Juve’s big earners in terms of salary.
Factoring in age, declining ability and a considerable salary, Juve should offload Sami in the summer.
Ramsey seems to do all the rights things such as learning Italian and he is well liked- whether by Arsenal or Juve fans- but has failed to meet expectations when it comes to the most important thing: simply being able to step on the field to play on a regular basis.
Ramsey has started just 6 league games with another 6 appearances as a substitute. Those are very poor numbers for a midfielder brought it not just to fill a squad member or serve as backup. Per revised figures, Ramsey is one of the club’s highest earners, behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.
To earn such a high salary, Ramsey needs to repay that with not just regular appearances in the league and in Europe but also some solid performances. The concern is Ramsey’s recent history does not bode well. He made just 14 league starts and another 14 substitute appearances in the Premier League in 2018/19.
If we go back to the 2016/17 season, he made just 13 starts and a further 10 league appearances as a substitute. Even during one of his best seasons in recent memory, the 2017/18 season, Ramsey made 21 starts and another 3 appearances as a substitute in the English league. Clearly, the Welshman has fitness concerns and a history with injuries.
Just as Ramsey, winger Douglas Costa spends more time getting treatment than starting matches for the Bianconeri.
So far Costa has started just 5 league games with another 8 appearances as a substitute. He is currently injured again. For the 2018/19 season, he made just 7 starts with another 10 appearances as a substitute in Serie A.
Costa is extremely talented and is very fast, but he just cannot stay fit or healthy. He is 29-years-old so it could be worthwhile to sell him this summer over keBreping an injury prone player who will make at most 15 league appearances next season. Juve should cash in and reinvest the money where needed.
There are a few other players who should be sold under the right circumstances. For instance, if full-back Danilo receives the right offer and Juve can make up the fee paid last summer then it would be wise to sell him. The Brazilian player is injury prone and was signed as part of the deal to sell Cancelo to Manchester City.
Another name to consider is Blaise Matuidi. The Frenchman can cover space and is a willing runner but this is football and at Juve he is required to do much more than just run around. When fully fit, Matuidi can track back and tackle, however, has poor control and is a poor passer as well.
Matuidi slows down the team and often kills the momentum when Juve launch counter-attacks. His need to take multiple touches to control or pass the ball mean that the opposition may have recovered by the time he released the ball or passed it to a teammate. Matuidi also turns 33 years-old in a few weeks.
Another player who should be sold is Federico Bernardeschi who is having an awful season. Bernardeschi’s last impressive performance was against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in the Round of 16 last season.
If Juve’s management is looking to conquer and then dominate in Europe, some of the struggling players must be sold to make way for better players with the right skills. This summer is expected to be a decisive one in Juve’s quest to maintain hegemony in Italy and to win in Europe. The Champions League is the aim of certain club stars, particularly Cristiano Ronaldo.