Juventus landed some good players to support Andrea Pirlo but whether they were genuinely successful in their rebuild remains doubtful.
Juventus had a productive transfer window as they managed to land some incredible players like Alvaro Morata, Arthur Melo and Weston McKennie. The Serie A champions also signed Federico Chiesa on deadline day to complete a major overhaul and one that Andrea Pirlo would have longed for, whilst parting ways with unwanted players.
Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain have both left the club and now find themselves at Inter Miami, whereas the likes of Daniele Rugani, Douglas Costa and Mattia De Sciglio have all been loaned out. A major sale did come in the shape of Miralem Pjanic, but that deal involved Arthur and arguably benefitted Juve more than Barcelona.
With the Champions League being their main focus, it looks like the Bianconeri have not done the best business in all honesty. For a club like Juventus who has fallen short in Europe, ageing players must be the last thing on the radar and they have kept some of them even now. Plus, their biggest rivals have also been incredibly good of late, with their activities in the market.
In the goalkeeping department, Juventus are able to call upon Wojciech Szczesny as their first-choice player but those behind him are not good enough. Gianluigi Buffon has crossed 40 and is not even half as good as he was before, to be blunt. The Italian’s contract extension seemed unnecessary and came more as an emotional decision, when a second-choice goalie’s signing for a cheap fee would have been reasonable.
The club’s options in central defence are a mixed bag because they have Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral, two fine and young central defenders, but their other options are the old and ragged likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. The Italians are 33 and 36 respectively and have grown past their best since the last two or three seasons.
For yet another season, Alex Sandro remains the only left-back on the first-team’s roster. The Brazilian himself has faced fitness issues and therefore, Danilo or Chiellini have had to scramble in an impeded role. The former Manchester City full-back also remains the only right-back, meaning Juan Cuadrado has to fill-in at the back more often than not.
Pirlo has done a decent job so far in playing with a substandard midfield that has been criticized since Maurizio Sarri’s reign, but the new head coach would have wanted something different. Arthur Melo, Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey all offer the same in the central areas, besides the Welshman going a level higher and scoring a few goals.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Sami Khedira are defensive midfielders and even among the two of them, Khedira seems to have been deemed surplus to requirements at the Allianz Stadium. Weston McKennie has played decently so far but for a club that wants to achieve European glory, relying on a young and inexperienced player for an entire season is not the most ideal option.
Finally, when it comes to the forward-line, Alvaro Morata at this point in time may not have been the best striker to cater to their dire need. Gonzalo Higuain, one of the world’s best strikers needed someone better as a replacement, so the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Luis Suarez or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may have been better given that they were linked with Juventus in recent weeks.
Dejan Kulusevski is a young and emerging striker so the decision to not loan him out for a second straight year is seen in good stead, whereas Federico Chiesa’s arrival is also set to benefit the forward line. Federico Bernardeschi and Paulo Dybala may have more minutes than they did under Maurizio Sarri but only time will tell how they both fair.
Cristiano Ronaldo as always will be expected to deliver a mercurial number of goals and assists, and his Champions League exploits will be kept an eye on too. However, even the world’s greatest player would need support further forward and unfortunately, the strike partner Ronaldo may have is not the most ideal.
All in all, the Bianconeri have not had a great transfer window as they have not filled up roles which actually needed to be filled. Those which have been filled have also come in the shapes of subpar names like Morata, who are certainly not suited for a first-team squad if a team is going to win the Champions League.
Juventus have been incredibly good in Serie A of late but Inter Milan’s brilliant transfer business and evolution under Antonio Conte may see them come closer to challenging or perhaps even beat the defending champions to the crown. Not to mention, the likes of Atalanta, Lazio, Milan and Roma have also looked better than they did in the past and will certainly offer Juventus a run for their money.
Do you think the Bianconeri will be able to win any significant pieces of silverware this season?