It took longer than anticipated, but Juventus finally have their new coach: former Chelsea and Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, who has reportedly penned a three-year, €18M contract. Sarri is coming off a third-placed finish with the Blues and recently won the first trophy of his career by beating Arsenal in the Europa League final. It took a small financial compensation in order to release him from his deal with the English club. Despite the relative success of his tenure, Sarri butted heads with the players and the management and was never embraced by the fans during his time in London and at some point was at risk of being axed mid-season. Continue reading
Paulo Dybala talked to the journalist at an Adidas event yesterday, backtracking from his brother recent remark’s about being unhappy at Juventus: “He speaks for himself. I have discussed with Fabio Paratici, he knows that I want to continue playing with Juventus. Then it is not up to me, the management will make his choices based on the new coach’s ideas, but I want to stay.”
On the new coach: “I believe even the executives do not even know yet, I hope he will be a great one in order to win everything. That is the most important thing, then the fans want to see good football and few managers are capable in that area. We have thanked and greeted Massimiliano Allegri, we are very grateful for what he has done.” Continue reading
Paulo Dybala’s brother and manager Gustavo gave some worrying remarks to the Argentinian’s radio show Fubolemico yesterday: “There is a strong possibility that he leaves Torino, he needs a change of sceneary. He was at ease in Italy, but now he no longer is. He is not comfortable any more, like several other Bianconeri, he will not be the only one to bolt. He does not have any personal issue with Cristiano Ronaldo, but their fit is a problem on the pitch. He is young and needs to play.”
Sticking with agents, the one managing Olympique Lyonnais’ Ferland Mendy talked to Tuttosport about Juventus’ interest: “He has had an excellent season and he is only 23. He has debuted with France and half of Europe is pursing him. Continue reading
Sassuolo-Roma: the Neroverdi were handed their first loss since April last week by Torino, even though they certainly put up a fight, despite not being in need of points. The Giallorossi defeated Juventus with a late surge, garnering their fourth win in the last six rounds, tying in the other two and staying close to the fourth spot. Sassuolo have found the target in five of the last six rounds and La Lupa have not been great defensively on the road: they have spread the wealth around since Domenico Berardi was the only one to bag one in multiple matches. Jeremie Boga, Stefano Sensi, Manuel Locatelli and all the defenders contributed scoring-wise: Boga and Sensi have been their most lively contributors in the last few fixtures. The Giallorossi are getting a lot from Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko, while the latest tactical change, if confirmed, would help the likes of Nicolò Zaniolo, Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert, as the last two would see more minutes. Lorenzo Pellegrini is iffy due to a thigh ailment and his absence could allow Bryan Cristante to have a big role.
Blaise Matuidi was interviewed by Tuttosport and gave his vote of confidence to Massimiliano Allegri: “He has done a great job here and I hope he will stay. He has shown tremendous abilities and he is an excellent coach.”
On the Atalanta game: “We want to have a good performance at home in order to finish well and celebrate the title in front of our fans.”
On his future: “I am fine at Juventus, I do not have any issues. I will 100 percent stay here, then Mino Raiola will think about the contract extension. He knows about that stuff more than anybody else.” Continue reading
Massimiliano Allegri talked to the press earlier today: “I will meet with the president next week. What has been written in these last few days amuses me because I wonder what would have they done to me if I did not take home any trophy. Maybe they would have burned or impaled me. I am used to it, it is part of the game, it shakes things up a little otherwise there would not be much to talk about regarding Juventus. We will discuss everything with the chairman. I had told him before the second leg with Ajax that I would stay.”
“It has happened every season, there is more buzz now because we were eliminated early in Champions League, maybe somebody thought we would have an easier path. The summit has not been postponed, it will go down earlier than usual. It does not make sense to speak now about what will happen there.” Continue reading
Juventus: Paulo Dybala (calf), Rodrigo Bentancur (thigh), Emre Can (thigh) and Alex Sandro have resumed practicing fully and therefore should be available on Sunday, while Douglas Costa (calf) and Daniele Rugani (thigh) will not come back this week. Federico Bernardeschi is suspended. Moise Kean is out with the flu, Leonardo Bonucci with a bruised ankle.
Napoli: David Ospina is on personal leave to tend to a personal matter in Colombia. Nikola Maksimovic (toe) is slated to remain on the shelf, while Amadou Diawara (foot) got in a full practice after a long time, so he might be called up. Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Adam Ounas have been surprisingly ruled out due to small ailments.
Since joining Italian champions Juventus in 2015 for £36 million, Paulo Dybala has become a fan’s favourite in Turin over the four years he has been at the club.
The Argentina international is a magisterial player that can turn on sixpence and find the winning goal when the odds are heavily stacked against him. In the same way to Lionel Messi, Dybala is one of the most gifted players of his generation and likes to occupy the ‘half spaces’ between the opposition’s midfield and defence.
However, it has not been plain sailing for the Argentinean. There have been a few issues on-and-off the field since moving to the Allianz Stadium, and this season suggests that there might be thoughts from Dybala to leave for pastures new.
The playmaker has featured in 39 games this season from a possible 48 so far, which is not a poor record, but when diving deeper into his game time, Massimiliano Allegri has often opted to remove Dybala after 75 minutes, or not even start him.
Since the turn of the year, Dybala has routinely found himself either on the bench or not starting. There have been five games from 11 in which he has been fit enough to feature in that he either failed to come on at all or made a cameo role towards the end of the match.
For someone who is a fully fledged international player and now in the prime of his career when turning 26-years-old this November, Dybala has the capacity to be one of the leaders in any squad. His talent is unquestionable, but evidently, Allegri views him as a liability at times and does not always find room for Dybala in his very intricate system.
Which then begs the question as to what the Argentine might decide to do this summer. Around Europe’s top five league, there will be plenty of suitors, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid the more likely destinations for the playmaker.
Dybala has three years left on his contract from this summer onwards, which means Juventus are in no hurry or pressure to sell. The Bianconeri will likely only listen to offers that eclipse £75 million due to market inflation over the past number of years, but the aforementioned clubs would not be put off that price given the quality they think they are purchasing.
One of the Argentinean’s greatest strengths is his versatility, which could also been seen as a weakness in the sense that he is yet to nail down his own position and stamp his authority for Juventus. But any prospective buying club will see Dybala as a solution to many holes in their squad, with being able to fill it across the forward line and in his more preferred number 10 role.
In Dybala’s 39 matches this season, he has found the back of the net on 10 occasions and recorded six assists, which is respectable given his lack of match rhythm throughout the season and various on-going injury problems.
Dybala, however, needs to now make a choice over his long-term future. Should he remain at Juventus for his prime years, it looks likely that he will have to settle for his role in the squad that is not cemented, or he can move to a club that values him as one of their best and most important players which will entitle him to a more central role.
Dybala is still young enough to move on and make this decision, but the longer he leaves it, the harder it will be to state his argument of being one of the best overall players of his generation.
Paulo Dybala answered to some questions coming from kids through a Tuttosport initiative. He began by addressing who his childhood idols were: “I liked Juan Riquelme a lot, but I have never seen him play in person. I admired Ronaldinho too.”
On playing other sports: “I have tried out tennis and basket, but for a limited amount of time. I have always played football. I started really young, when I was 4 or five, in an academy. When I look back at those times, I always remember having a ball between my feet.”
On his dream: “I wanted to play football, that was my goal and my dream. I have made a lot of sacrifices, but I pulled it off by debuting with Instituto de Cordoba when I was 17.” Continue reading
With reports linking Juventus to moves to up and coming offensive stars like Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa, and Benfica’s Joao Felix, it begs the question: Where does Paulo Dybala fit in Massimiliano Allegri’s plans for next season? La Joya is coming off his worst season in bianconero, and has largely struggled to fit into Allegri’s tactical schemes this year. When he isn’t dropping deep into the midfield, Dybala often finds himself wide on the right looking for time and space.
What his inevitably leads to is the Argentine international picking up the ball far away from the goal, with little possibility to make the most of his creativity in the final third. With Cristiano Ronaldo occupying a central position, Dybala has found it hard to carve out a consistent place for himself in the starting eleven, and will need to adapt moving forward. While his output and overall play suffered immensely, Juventus would be foolish to give up on the 25-year-old at the first sign of adversity, and instead re-think his best position.
After all, Dybala was dubbed the heir to Alessandro Del Piero, and was awarded the number ten jersey with this in mind. In 36 appearances in all competitions this season, the former Palermo man notched 10 goals, and four assists; his worst return since his first season in Serie A back in 2012.
While it would be easy to discard him and sell him to the highest bidder, Juventus should avoid that at all costs, and look to incorporate him more into their setup. Basic economics state that it’s foolish to sell an asset at their lowest value. Following this indifferent season, the only way for the Juventus man is up.
This season Dybala’s role was largely on the periphery of the first team, and he was rarely given the license to dictate play. At times, he cut a frustrated figure and disappeared in games, however, Juventus should not forget about the natural talent he has at his disposal. We’re still talking about a player that scored 19 goals in league play in his first season, and a further 22 last season. In addition, the Juventus board would be suffering from short-term memory loss if they have already forgotten his man-of-the-match displays in the Champions League against Barcelona, and Tottenham.
Given the results-oriented nature at Juventus, Allegri opted not to take any risks, and rather than letting Dybala play through his struggles, the former Milan tactician went with Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi. While both players are crucial pieces to the Juventus machine, neither possess the natural talent Dybala does. Given that they are willing runners, both featured consistently in Juve’s big games, yet fail to offer what Dybala could in the final third. If Juventus are to hit that next level, something they failed to do this season, they will need La Joya playing his best football.
Even though Mandzukic and Bernardeschi are arguably better fits alongside Ronaldo in Allegri’s current setup, the Juventus boss didn’t bother trying any alternatives, and instead trying fitting in a circle in a square peg. When that didn’t work, Dybala was relegated to a bench role, and his struggles continued. Next season, Allegri will either need to change his tactical setup or he will risk wasting Dybala’s talents two years running.
At Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane got the best out of Ronaldo alongside Benzema with Isco behind them pulling the strings in a 4-3-1-2. Allegri should take notes, and use Dybala in similar fashion to the Spaniard. While it is increasingly difficult to incorporate a trequartista into modern tactical schemes, Juventus cannot afford to leave Dybala out of the lineup consistently.
On Dybala’s end, on the other hand, he’ll need to improve. That goes without saying. At times, the former Palermo man looked tuned out of games, and let his frustrations get the better of him. If Fabio Paratici’s words are anything to go by, however, Dybala and Allegri will need to coexist next season, and thrive together once more.
“Of course Dybala will stay. He is a Juve player and it’s obvious he will certainly remain,” said the Juventus sporting director.
Following one of their worst seasons in recent times, Juventus and Allegri will need to go back to the drawing board, and re-evaluate Dybala’s best position. Otherwise, it’ll only be a matter of time before Dybala is moved, and Juventus are back to square one.
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