Juventus’ bleak 2020-21 campaign has brought one thing into focus: they must tear this squad up and start over.
‘We need to focus on young people after a decade of great success,’ said John Elkann, cousin of Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli, during a recent appearance on the Italian TV show.Door to door
It is a feeling felt by many who are attached to the Bianconeri. There have been too many missteps in the transfer market and now action is required to bring this ailing side back to their dominance of the past decade.
Aaron Ramsey (left) and Paulo Dybala (right) seen as trading pieces in a Juventus shake-up
Andrea Pirlo has seen his side underperform this season and must revolutionize his squad
Among those on the chopping block will be Aaron Ramsey, Alex Sandro and Paulo Dybala, with the future of the Argentinian, who was out of contract in June 2022, presumably at stake.
Last month, Juventus announced losses of £ 99 million for the first half of the season.
Sounds from behind the scenes were that such severe shortages would not affect their ability to stay active in the transfer market, but there is also a recognition that the current squad is blown up and that too many players are receiving high salaries that are unjustified.
Midfield has been the main concern for Juventus this season and, while he’s not solely to blame for the shortcomings, that’s pushed Ramsey closest to the exit.
Ramsey came to high hopes that he could take over the midfield from Juventus
Injuries have plagued the Welshman since leaving Arsenal for Juventus and a muscle injury has currently sidelined him, adding to the attitude that his time in Turin is up.
Ramsey sustained a minor rectus femoris injury in his left thigh and was forced to sit out the win against Cagliari, and has also been banned from the Wales qualifiers.
The ex-Arsenal star’s vulnerability is devastating and it is claimed that he has never managed to get 100 percent fit in the nearly 24 months he has been with the club.
Andrea Pirlo tried to defend Ramsey from Cagliari on the eve of the match, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify his absence.
“He has physical problems and cannot get continuity in his performance because he has to stop every two or three games,” said the Juventus boss.
Instead, he has struggled to stay fit and managed to miss large bouts of action
‘He’s had major problems in the past that kept him off the field for months.
‘He is precious because he knows how to make the team play well and he plays well. He only has this physical weakness that forces him to stay outside every now and then. ‘
Two goals this season for Ramsey, who has a deal in the region of £ 400,000 a week, makes him bet as they target younger players as part of the rebuild.
Since joining Juventus, he has missed 104 days of training and games and most of all has failed in the decisive Champions League matches.
In Italy, the Welsh midfielder is estimated to have cost Juventus € 300,000 (£ 257,000) per game this season – the same as a Ferrari for less than 90 minutes of action in each game.
In retrospect, his purchase is now seen as an economic disaster due to the low number of matches he has played in the past two years.
Dybala (center) has been out since ligament damage sustained at Sassuolo in February
The feeling is that the player is afraid of ensuring dynamism on the field for fear of new injuries and that his performance is greatly affected by the physical problems that have plagued him in recent years.
But Ramsey isn’t alone. There are doubts about Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur and those getting reprieve in midfield are expected to improve quickly for 2021-22.
While the gavel is poised to hit Ramsey’s Italian lane, Tottenham was one of the clubs reportedly eyeing a surprising move for him, but things are much more balanced when it comes to the future of Dybala.
The Argentinian has been missing in the Juventus attack since February 7 after an injury against Sassuolo.
All tests had ruled out surgery, but the player continues to feel discomfort in his knee ligament and is reportedly very concerned that it may be a more serious problem than initially suggested.
Dybala played eleven games in Serie A and five in the Champions League this season, not enough for a player like him who is in the last 12 months of his deal.
In January, he was able to free himself from a pre-contractual agreement by signing with another top European club and so a decision has to be made about what happens next.
There is a sense that Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Dybala (right) will not both be able to stay with Juventus this summer as the attacking duo will be out of contract in Turin in June 2022.
Part of the complication with Dybala is that Cristiano Ronaldo will also be out of contract in June 2022 and the feeling in Turin is that one should leave this summer.
Dybala is considerably younger, but his output has diminished sharply in recent seasons and with growing fears of injury it would be less surprising to see the Argentinian shopping for Ronaldo.
His salary of € 7.5 million a year (£ 6.4 million) makes relocation difficult, with limited suitors offering massive amounts of money amid a global pandemic.
The 27-year-old has scored just three goals and two assists in 16 games this season.
He appeared to be on the cusp of switching to the Premier League with Tottenham in 2019, before that deal collapsed due to a picture rights issue.
Negotiations between Dybala and Paratici on the extension will continue, but the possibility of finding an agreement is diminishing significantly every day. And then there is Sandro who is seen at the age of 30 at the end of a cycle where Juventus needs a freshening up.
Fullback and fullback were problematic positions for Juventus with doubts about the replacements for Sandro and Juan Cuadrado.
Alex Sandro (right) is seen at the end of his cycle with Juventus with new fullbacks needed
Robin Gosens of Atalanta has remained a long-term target, and Pirlo understands the need to transform an area critical to his 3-5-2 system.
“It is certainly a great honor for me to be approached by these clubs,” Gosens told the German magazine Kicker when asked about interest from Man City and Juventus.
‘If the elite of Europe follow you on their radars – and maybe you’re at the top of their shortlist – that’s a huge thing and shows that you’re on the right track. Looking back on my career path, it is great to see where I am now. ‘
Something has to give and those behind the scenes at Juventus know it. This squad has shown that it is full of holes and only a major summer cleanup will clean up the mess that is cluttering Allianz Stadium at the moment.