The mercato madness has come and gone and now we’re ready for the rest of the season. But are Juventus ready? Let’s take a look.
Big clubs are reluctant to spend in January as their signings typically end up in busts. The lack of a pre-season regiment along with the adaptation period means that new players find it increasingly difficult to acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. Juventus are well aware of this and have stayed away from big investments in January. This past transfer window was no different as the bianconeri opted to stay as they are. To say that however wouldn’t be telling the whole story as they secured a number of options on some of Italy’s best talents.
- Rolando Mandragora, 18, Genoa, €6M, central midfielder.
That’s it. Well, technically. In the opening weeks of the transfer window, the Italian champions shelled out 6 million euros for Mandragora, who is currently out on loan to Pescara. The midfielder is widely regarded to be one of Italy’s midfielders for years to come therefore it should come as no surprise that Juventus were following him for the past few months. That said, he will only join the team in the summer and will remain with the Serie B side until the end of the season. Massimiliano Allegri’s side weren’t finished there and made use of their positive relationship with Sassuolo for another three youngsters.
Juventus helped the neroverdi sign Cesena’s Stefano Sensi and Avellino’s Marcello Trotta. The former was having a fantastic season with Cesena and began drawing comparisons with Marco Verratti. The bianconeri were quick to pounce on him and inserted an option in the deal that will see Sensi join the club in the summer. Whether the player will break into Juventus’ stacked midfield lineup remains to be seen, but he certainly possesses the quality to do so. Trotta, on the other hand, was once dubbed Italy’s future in attack but never took the next step in his career. After a decent start to the season with Avellino, Sassuolo wanted to bring him in to alleviate some pressure off the shoulders of the struggling Gregoire Defrel. If he can rekindle his form from earlier in his career, Sassuolo will be more than happy with their 2.5 million euro risk, as will Juventus who reportedly have an option on him. They also helped Sassuolo with the signing of Rogerio from Internacional who is supposed to be one of Brazil’s hottest talents at left back.
Before the window closed, Juventus were also linked with a double swoop of Pescara’s duo of Gianluca Lapadula and Gianluca Caprari. The former is leading Italy’s second division in scoring while Caprari is having the best season of his career. Caprari is a graduate from Roma’s youth system and has since come into his own with Pescara. While reports suggested Juventus had a deal for both of them, the club’s sporting director Giorgio Repetto said otherwise,:
“There’s no deal with Juventus but we will talk with them in June again.”
Juventus also signed Como’s Simone Ganz. The player has scored 8 goals in 18 matches in Serie B this season and is another highly-rated Italian talent. Much like Mandragora and Sensi, the midfielder will stay with Como until the end of the season before joining Juventus.
- Luca Marrone, 25, Hellas Verona, six-month loan, central midfielder
- Rolando Mandragora, 18, Pescara, six-month loan, central midfielder
On the other side of the transfer spectrum, Juventus weren’t busy either. After signing Mandragora, they immediately sent him back to Pescara as mentioned previously while Luca Marrone, yes he’s still on Juventus’ wage bill, was loaned to Hellas Verona from Carpi. Unfortunately for the midfielder, that means that he now goes from 18th place to 20th place. Next season, he will likely be going out on loan to another team as Hellas Verona are surefire candidates to go down at the moment.
It’s difficult to judge Juventus’ mercato as they didn’t truly have a pressing need therefore they didn’t miss out on anything. That said, they did secure a number of interesting, young players with high upside which sets them up nicely for the future. The only real drawback of their transfer window is that somehow, Hernanes is still at the club. But you can’t blame them there. I mean, is he really a sellable player? In any case, I’m inclined to agree with my colleague who recently gave Juventus’ January transfer dealings a grade of 6.5/10 due to the fact that they secured their midfield for years to come.
Final Grade: 6.5/10.