Continued from Part-1.
A lot of players came in and left Turin in this transfer window. We take a look at the overall mercato.
1. Simone Pepe
Luigi Delneri’s insistence on 4-4-2 is well documented. This formation will need strong and pacy wingers. To start with transfer dealings, Pepe has joined the squad on loan from Udinese. He gets a 2.5 million Euros deal for a year on loan; an additional 7.5 million Euros will be paid if Juventus get him permanently. The 27 years old winger can play on both wings, however, he did get the advantage of a questionable Lippi call to the national team. The deal is a good one as it costs little money and if doesn’t do well Juventus can ship him back.
THT Verdict: Good deal for an ordinary player. Even if he does well, the rest of the money will be paid over a period of three years. He is, at best, a squad player for a big team like Juventus.
2. Leonardo Bonucci
After a long time, the Old Lady has finally splashed some cash on a young Italian defender. Bonucci endured a rocky start in 2009-10 season as his ownership changed hands. He finally ended up in a newly promoted Bari side. His partnership with Andrea Rannochia was a revelation as Bari became one of the best defensive teams in the first half of the season. Bonucci already has played well in a 4-4-2 team, so will adopt well into the Del Neri’s tactics. He is still 23 and there’s plenty of time to develop completely. If he develops a good partnership with Chiellini, it would bode well for both Juventus as well as the Italy national team.
THT Verdict: One of the best signings of the season. At 15.5 million Euros, the club didn’t overpay for him. Juve’s problems in the centre of the defence is well documented and he should ideally rectify that. The five years contract that he has been given should be a good deal.
3. Jorge Martinez
The Uruguayan winger enjoyed a rich vein of form in Catania last season and was a prime reason behind their resurgence under Mihailovic. Along with Pepe, he will perform wing play in a 4-4-2 formation. He has good experience in Serie A which might come in handy. He can also play as a support striker.
THT Verdict: Paying 12 million Euros for a 27 year old winger who has never played for a big club sounds risky. This is probably the biggest risk Marotta has taken in this mercato. Along with that, he gets a four year deal, so if he doesnt perform it might cost Juve a lot.
4. Marco Storari
Goalkeeping has been one of Juventus’ least vulnerable areas over the last decade. Having one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time has it’s advantages. And Buffon is still very young with respect to goalkeepers. Unfortunately, he had a back surgery, which ruled him out for whole of 2010. A competent backup keeper is needed. While Manninger is a good goalkeeper, he is not good enough to be a consistent no.1 . Storari has had a decent career so far and just enjoyed a brilliant spell with Sampdoria. He is good enough to be the first choice and can play back-up to Gigi when he comes back.
THT Verdict: 4.5 million Euros don’t seem a lot of money for a seasoned goalkeeper. This is a good buy considering Juve had to move quickly due to Buffon’s ill-timed injury.
5. Marco Motta
The highly rated Roma youngster struggled to get regular starts under Ranieri. He has had a good career in youth level and usually impresses whenever he gets a start. A good right-back, with decent overlapping runs. At 23, he can still improve.
THT Verdict: This is a loan move for this season worth 1.25 million Euros. Another great job done by Marotta. Juve dont need to overspend in this season itself. If Motta performs well, he can be bought for a sum of 6 million Euros.
6. Milos Krasic
The long saga about Krasic finally ended late in August. The Serbian winger gathered rave reviews in CSKA Moscow’s Champions’ League campaign last year. He has pace and he adds creativity to the midfield, which are the two things the current Juventus team lack. Along with this, he always wanted to come to Turin, his dedication can be an added advantage. Marotta didn’t buckle down under CSKA’s pressure to squeeze out more money for this deal. At the end, the money paid was not excessive. At 15 million Euros, Krasic might be an asset.
THT Verdict: Juve’s star signing for this summer. He is no Pavel Nedved, but he is a good player.
7. Alberto Aquilani
Aquilani’s much hyped move to Anfield was doomed to fail. He has always been very injury prone, he was bound to get injured in the physical nature of EPL. He was not a similar player like Xabi Alonso, who he was supposed to replace. After a forgettable season, he is coming back to Serie A. His loan move contains an option to buy him at the end of season.
THT Verdict: Provided he stays fit, Aquilani’s passing ability will be useful to the current team.
8. Davide Lanzafame
Lanza is a former Juve Academy player. He impressed at Bari in Serie B and had a decent spell in Parma last season. He is most likely to take up the role of a left winger. He is co-owned with Palermo and comes in on loan.
THT Verdict: Lanzafame has potential and will add much needed youthful energy.
9. Fabio Quagliarella
This was possibly the most baffling move from Juve. Quags is hardly a world-class striker with good scoring record. He has been inconsistent with most clubs he has ever played for. While he is capable of scoring occasional stunners, he is not prolific. The only positive aspect is the fact that it is a loan deal. Paying 4.5 million Euros for a year loan is a bit on the higher side too.
THT Verdict: Quagliarella doesnt add anything extra to current Juventus attack, which can continue to struggle.
10. Leandro Rinaudo
The 27 year old Napoli defender was brought in on the last day of transfer window. He is brought in on loan for 60,000 Euros. He is supposed to be the 4th choice centre-back.
THT Verdict: Rinaudo hasnt managed to earn a first team slot in Naples, but he has enough experience to be a backup player.
11. Armand Traore
Traore has fallen in the pecking order in the Emirates after the emergence of Gibbs. So he joins Juventus on a year loan, at 50,000 Euros.
THT Verdict: Voices in London suggest that he is much better going up than defending. The current problem of Juventus left-backs is precisely the same. While he can be an improvement of Paolo de Ceglie, he is not the type of player Juve needed.
1. Christian Molinaro
Molinaro was possibly the worst full back in the history of Juve. A glaring testament to everything that went wrong under the present management! He couldn’t defend and was terrible going forward. Shockingly, he did well in Stuttgart after being loaned out in middle of last season, maybe German football suits his style more. Either way, he was not coming back to Turin.
THT Verdict: Molinaro will be missed, only because of his ability to conjure up most comical moments with his bloopers. He gets a 4 year deal in a good German club. Juve get 4 million Euros. Everyone is a winner. And plane service over Turin during Juventus games will now restart. There’s no chance of planes being hit by stray Molinaro crosses anymore.
2. Fabio Cannavaro
Cannavaro had a one year contract and thankfully it was not extended. With the new management coming in, he didn’t even get a job in the board as reported earlier. Time to retire or move to UAE?
3. Domenico Criscito
Criscito’s indifferent showing in world cup didn’t do him any favours, he was shipped off to Genoa. Juve need good left-backs and he could have been a good addition but things didn’t work out perfectly.
THT Verdict: Criscito has time and again said that he wants to go back to Genoa. He was from the Genoa Primavera and has his heart was always there. The Criscito deal made it easier to get Bonucci. Juve get 5.5 million Euros and Bonucci, Criscito gets the club he wanted, a win-win situation for both sides.
Diego was Juve’s biggest signing since Calciopoli, he started off with a bang , with a virtuoso performance against Roma. But then like the rest of the team, his form dropped too. Selling the most creative player in the team for a big loss makes very little sense. Diego was ordinary, but there were more players who played worse yet they were not sold. He deserved a second chance. Diego didnt fit into Delneri’s 4-4-2 formation. That was another reason for his exit. Either way, this deal has been met with negative reactions from most Juve fans.
THT Verdict: This whole saga somehow feels like Inter’s shambolic deals in 1990s, a proved player did not get enough time to show his prowess. 15.5 million Euros, the amount obtained from Wolfsburg isn’t enough either.
5. Christian Poulsen
Poulsen isn’t that bad a player that his career in Juve leads you to believe. He is a thorough professional, but he never adjusted well to Serie A. He was on high salaries and Juve got a nice 5.75 m Euroes from his transfer.
THT Verdict: Poulsen had performed well in Spain and Germany, it was a pity that he didnt play well in Italy.
6. Sergio Almiron
Almiron was one of the brightest young players in Italy when he came to Turin. Sadly, he didnt do justice to his talents. Last season he played well in Bari and was sold permanently for 2.5 million Euros in this season.
THT Verdict: All the best for the future and please stop playing so well against Juventus!
7. Mauro Camoranesi
One of the members of the “Old Guard” Camo served Juve and the Azzuris well. For most part of his career he was one of the best wingers in Serie A. His amazing crosses led to many goals for Trezeguet and Del Piero. However over the last few seasons, his temperament as well as fitness has considerably worsened. When he is in the mood, Camo can be the best player on the pitch (Example – Juventus 5-2 Sampdoria in 09-10 season), but those moments were few and far between these days and there was no other option but to sell him.
THT Verdict: One of the major reasons for his release was due to high wages. His departure will be painful for fans, but it was a necessity.
8. David Trezeguet
9. Jonathan Zebina
Zebina’s tenure in Turin has been disastrous. He has mostly given awful performances and was very injury prone. He was very unpopular too.
THT Verdict: He was a deadwood and had to be offloaded to some other club. Thank you Brescia.
Loans and Co-ownerships:
Youngsters Lorezno Ariaudo and Albin Ekdal have been co-owned with Cagliari and Bologna respectively. As expected, a host of talented Primavera players were sent out on loan to provincial clubs. Most notable loans were Ciro Immobile and Luca Marrone to Siena, Fausto Rossi to Vicenza, Simon Esposito to Ascoli, Iago Falque to Villarreal Reserves and Christian Pasquato to Modena.
Tiago couldn’t come to an agreement with Atletico Madrid for a permament deal, so he was loaned out. Sebastian Giovinco, as expected, went to Parma.
Giuseppe Marotta worked with a fixed target from the start. He wanted to bring down the average age and not overspend on deals. He was successful on both fronts, to an extent. The current teams average age is 25.5.
Juventus spent a total of 56.6 million Euros, but recouped 36 million. So effectively it was 20 million spent to remodel almost the whole squad. Some of his decisions to sell Diego or loan Giovinco may hurt in future. Overall, the squad he built will probably not challenge for Scudetto, but can break into Champions’ League spots. Once Juventus do get back into UCL, they can launch bids for big name players, which was not possible in this season.