The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, compensated by the returning Moise Kean, confirms the new strategy of Juventus: less high-sounding transfers and more investments in young people with high potential, an economic imperative but also a real sporting choice.
After a start to the season disturbed by the moods of the Portuguese superstar, who left for Manchester United, the “Old Lady” will already be able to test the effectiveness of her makeover during the week ahead: trip to Naples on Saturday then reception of AC Milan on September 19 in Serie A and, in between, the start of the Champions League in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday.
With “CR7”, Juventus loses its best gunner, author of more than a third of Juve’s goals in the league during its three seasons in Turin (81 out of the 223 registered by the Bianconeri between 2018 and 2021). But also a global brand that embodied the white and black jersey on a global scale.
To replace him, no star has landed, but only Moise Kean, 21, a child from Piedmont (he grew up in Asti, about fifty kilometers from Turin). The clear illustration of the line now in force in Andrea Agnelli’s club.
This line obviously owes to the economic context. Juve, weighed down since 2018 by the financial burden that Ronaldo represented in its budget (nearly EUR 90 million per season, between salary and amortization of the transfer), has seen its losses widen further with the crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
Payroll reduction was therefore a priority and the club did not fight too hard to retain Ronaldo.
Economically, this strategy aiming to invest in young people also nurtures the hope of achieving some good financial transactions. But it must also allow Juve to regain color in the Champions League, competition set up as a major objective where the “Old lady” has often seemed to gain momentum in recent years.
The initial awareness dates back to August 2020, after the elimination in the round of 16 against Lyon (0-1, 2-1), with this remark from President Agnelli after the return match: “I have heard it said several times that we have one of the oldest staff in Europe, that can be a food for thought … “
Since then, in addition to Ronaldo (36), the thirty-something Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and the forty-something Gianluigi Buffon have left.
And almost all of the arrivals involved young people aged 25 and under, from Dejan Kulusevski to Manuel Locatelli, including Kean, Arthur Melo, Weston McKennie and Federico Chiesa.
Beyond these players already ripe for the first team, Juve also thought of the future by attracting in particular this summer the Brazilian center forward Kaio Jorge (19 years old), world champion under 17 years old in 2019 in Brazil, finishing co-top scorer of the tournament.
In this landscape, excluding return of loans and extension of the Giorgio Chiellini monument, the only notable exception is the arrival last year of 28-year-old Alvaro Morata. But the Spain international is still on loan from Atlético Madrid, and the option to buy has not yet been exercised.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri, even if he would have liked one or two experienced players (a return from Pjanic, or Mauro Icardi, according to the press), has always assured that he would be in perfect “symbiosis” with his leaders on this policy .
During his presentation in July, he had several times assured that his role was “to obtain results” but also to “create value” by developing players.
“This team is fun to train, because there are a lot of players who can progress,” added the one who obtained broad recruiting powers and a fairly rare contract period for a coach (4 years), to try to succeed where Andrea Pirlo failed last season: to rejuvenate, but still winning.
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