The transfer season is well and truly upon us and as expected, everyone from Kun Aguero to Arturo Vidal to Lady Gaga has been linked with a move to Turin. These rumors, of course, have almost grown threefold due to the disappointing season that Juve have just had. Players, as is customary, have been analysed and scrutinised time and again to predict their suitability and if necessary their level of adaptability to the choice of formation that will be employed by the manager – Antonio Conte.
The confirmed arrivals of Swiss international fullbacks Reto Ziegler and Stephan Lichtsteiner, will certainly add quality to the Juve defence. Lichtsteiner’s signing in particular is long overdue and has been greeted with widespread optimism among the Tifosi. Right back has been an area of grave concern for the Bianconeri, ever since the departure of Gianluca Zambrotta in 2006 and the club hasn’t really signed a player of Juve’s calibre to replace the now Milan fullback. Reto Ziegler will in all probability act as cover to the Ashton Kutcher look-alike Paolo De Ceglie.
The signings of the experienced Andrea Pirlo and the combative Michele Pazienza, will bolster the centre of midfield for Juventus. Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri, Simone Pepe and Marco Motta too have been signed on a permanent basis by the club, while the potential arrival of a big name striker is also on the cards. Giuseppe Rossi and Sergio Aguero have been targeted by Beppe Marotta this summer. The former, according to the transfer gurus, is edging towards a move to Turin, while all interest in the latter seems to have died down with the commencement of the Copa America.
As an increasing amount of focus is thrown upon the new signings, Marotta will also have plenty of clearance work to do. Players that are no longer ‘in the club’s plans’ or simply aren’t good enough to don the famous Black and White jersey of Juve, need to be shown the exit door. Most of these players, unsurprisingly, are those signed from the Alessio Secco era.
TheHardTackle takes a closer look at the players, who could and should be on their way out of the club this summer.
A €13-million 2007 summer signing from Lyon, Tiago hasn’t really settled down at Juventus. The former Chelsea midfielder failed to truly establish himself as a regular starter for the Turin giants. His relationship with the management wasn’t good by any stretch of the imagination. He reportedly locked former Juve president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli in a toilet stall for more than an hour. Tiago was more often than not out of favour with the then manager – Claudio Ranieri. The former Portugese international was then shipped to Atletico Madrid in January 2010 and again in the following summer.
While at Atletico Madrid, Tiago endured a relatively successful stint, scoring 6 goals in 49 appearances. Inspite of his decent performances for Atleti, the Colchoneros have decided not to sign him on a permanent basis. As it stands, Tiago is no longer a player needed at the club, his time at Juventus has been deemed poor and Marotta will be on the hunt for a new club for the midfielder.
Almiron, like Tiago, arrived in the summer of 2007 for €9-million from Empoli. And similar to Tiago, he too failed to establish himself as a consistent starter for the Old Lady. His performances were not upto the mark. He soon fell down the pecking order and was inevitably loaned out to Monaco in January 2008. His career at Juventus had effectively ended as he was again loaned out to Fiorentina and last year, he was sold to Bari in a co-ownership deal, as a part of the Leonardo Bonucci move. Now back at Juventus, Almiron isn’t expected to play any further role in Turin and will in all likelihood leave.
Italy’s World Cup hero, Fabio Grosso made his way to Turin in the 2009 summer market for a fee of €2-million, from Lyon. Grosso was expected to add a bit of experience to an otherwise fragile position in the Juve backline. He began well, but his performances started deteriorating and his defending was anything but solid. He was informed last summer that his services were no longer needed at the club and that his departure would be imminent. Grosso, however, did not oblige and refused to quit Juve. His inability to co-operate with the club led him to be frozen out of the squad by Gigi Del Neri.
Owing to injury problems, Grosso was called back into the squad towards the latter stages of the season. His performance against Roma was arguably his best performance for Juventus and he did put in decent shifts whenever called upon. Grosso has a year left on his contract, but is expected to find a new employer this summer. The signing of Reto Ziegler will undoubtedly leave no space for Grosso at the club.
Former Liverpool midfielder, Momo Sissoko’s time at Juventus is expected to come to an end this summer. The arrival of Michele Pazienza, a player of a similar mould to that of Sissoko, could spell the end for the tough tackling midfielder. Sissoko arrived from Liverpool in the summer of 2008 for a fee believed to be in the region of €8 million. His time in the peninsula has been quite topsy-turvy.
Sissoko has struggled in the Juve jersey in the past few seasons. He would often win tackles and then, quite appallingly, lose possession, thereby negating his previous good work. Sissoko’s passing left a lot to be desired and his partnership with Felipe Melo last season was a complete disaster. Fans can expect him to leave the club in a possible swap deal or for a decent amount of money, as age is still on his side and Juve can get a good deal for him.
Brazilian-born Italian striker Amauri was a big summer signing by Alessio Secco, in 2008. Amauri arrived with great deal of expectation, after an impressive season with Palermo. His Juve tenure got off to a flying start, but it crashed even faster. He seemingly lost his goal-scoring touch and fans started questioning his ability to perform at the highest level and with the pressure that comes with wearing a Juve jersey, the striker was left clueless.
Amauri struggled from then on and never really recovered. He experienced a goal-drought, which lasted for almost a year. The scourge of the Juve fans, Amauri departed, on loan, to Parma in January this year. His short spell with the Ducali was fruitful, as he hit the back of the net 7 times in 11 games. He has, on more than one occasion, expressed his intent to remain at Juventus, much to the horror of the Juventus Tifosi, but this remains unlikely and he could be sold off before the summer window closes.
Former Udinese striker, Vincenzo Iaquinta, has been with Juventus since the summer of 2007. His time at Vinovo though, hasn’t been particularly inspiring. Iaquinta has been terribly unlucky with injuries and has just 88 appearances, since his arrival in Turin. He recently suffered yet another set-back, that will rule him out for almost three weeks. Not the most talented of strikers, Iaquinta is renowned for his hard-work and physicality. His finishing has always been below par and he’s no longer good enough to make it at the very highest level of football. We can expect him to be used as a possible deal sweetener in future transfers, that maybe made by the club. Iaquinta or Amauri or possibly both are expected to leave the club.
Other potential departures include Zdenek Grygera and Marco Motta, who could be fighting for a right back spot while Hasan Salihamidzic has been released by the club. Jorge Martinez’s dismal first season at the club may also result in being his last.