Juventus has finalized the transfer of ex-Internazionale defender Lucio. The 34 year old Brazilian joins the old lady as a free agent after his contract with Inter ended.

The transfer of Lucio to JuventusAi??has come out of the blues somewhat. The World Cup winnerai??i??s contract with Inter was set to end but Juventus was rarely linked with him in transfer rumours. Giuseppe Marotta moved quickly in securing his signature, fighting off competition from Malaga, reportedly. Juventus had been linked with a couple of central defenders by numerous media outlets in last couple of weeks, one was Interai??i??s Andrea Rannochia and other, quite sensationally, was Borussia Dortmund stalwart Matts Hummels. Signing Lucio after these names seems underwhelming to say the least but it makes sense in some ways. TheHardTackle takes a look at pros and cons of this deal.

Pros : Lucio’s Experience will be valuable in Champions League Campaign of Juventus

The term ai???has won every thing that can be wonai??? is used far too generously these days but Lucio is one of the players who can lay claim to this title. The Brazilian has won league titles with both Inter and Bayern Munich. Further, he has won the World Cup as well as Confederation Cup with Brazil. He was one of the few players to have played every single minute of Los Selecaoai??i??s triumphant campaign in 2002.

His experience will be the greatest addition to the current Juventus defence. None of the defenders in the current Juventus team has a lot of experience in Champions League. Lucio on the other hand, has played the tournament with three clubs, reached the final with Bayer Levekusen (where he scored a goal) and won the title with Inter. His experience in playing at top level will be invaluable for the current Juventus team.

Another positive is obviously him being a free agent. Juventus is getting him for a reported salary of 2.3 million Euros per year (plus bonus). The present Juventus team needed a an in-depth signing to cope with multiple tournaments next season. With Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini forming the best defence in Serie A, it is quite clear that they will form the core of Juve defence for years to come. With signing of Mauricio Isla, Martin Caceres is not likely to be used as a right-back and can slot as a central defender as well. What Juve needed was a player with experience who will bolster the bench and Lucio ticks most of those checkboxes. The Bianconeri needs to spend on a quality striker, rather than spending on defenders and this signing will help the club achieve that.

Lucio is unlikely to be a starter but he can still do a competent job against lower table and mid-table teams in Serie A. Last year, Andrea Barzagli barely got rest in Serie A while Conte was fortunate that Chiellini or Bonucci didnai??i??t suffer any long term injuries. With European football coming up, these three will need rest and Lucio can stand in a solid back-up. Despite being 34, Lucio has been relatively injury free and collected 49 games for Inter last season. On an average, Lucio has played over 40 games per year for last eight seasons, peaking at 50 in 2010/11 season. So fitness is obviously not a concern.

The Brazilian defender is also the type of player which suits Conteai??i??s system. He was always good with the ball at his feet and was a decent passer. Therefore, he might not take a long time to adjust to Conteai??i??s tactics. His passing stats from last season are pretty encouraging ai??i?? 1048 successful passes out of 1291 attempted.

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Juventus Juventus Juventus

Juventus

Lucio certainly has experience of winning

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Cons : His recent form has been poor

First things first, the biggest con about Lucio is hardly football related. A lot of Juventus fans may not warm up to the idea of a player who was prominent during their most hated rival, Interai??i??s treble season donning the black and white jersey. However, it must be remembered that inter-rival transfer in Serie A is pretty common and a number of Juventus legends like Edgar Davids have played for Inter as well.

The biggest concern regarding Lucio will be his recent form. He was a regular starter for Inter last season and their campaign was characterized by chaotic defending which saw the Nerazzuri concede massive 55 goals in 38 matches. During his peak years, Lucio often relied on his physical stature to intimidate opponent strikers, something he has failed to do in recent matches. Never the fastest defender, Lucioai??i??s lack of pace can make him a liability for a Juventus side which often plays a high back-line. Last season, strikers dribbled past Lucio successfully at least once in every match. He was always prone to occasional lapse of concentration and errors and it will only get worse as he gets older.

Lucioai??i??s signing might also mean further denting of Frederik Sorensenai??i??s Juventus career. The Danish youngster impressed most fans during his first stint at the club under Gigi Delneri. Last season he was loaned out to Bologna where he barely got any match time. He was not part of Juventus’ plans for this season even before the signing of Lucio but it remains to be seen if he is brought back next season, since Lucio has a two year deal.

It will be interesting to see how Lucio reacts when he is relegated to the bench in Juventus. The Brazilian has been an undisputed starter for both club and country for most of his career and now he finds himself low in the pecking order. Conteai??i??s success with Juventus was based on an unshakable team spirit and he can ill afford a senior player hampering dressing room atmosphere.

It will be too much to expect Conte to revive Lucioai??i??s career like he did with Andrea Pirlo. Lucioai??i??s signing is hardly a remarkable addition to the Juventus roster but depth signings are rarely remarkable. If he stays fit and remains content with a fringe role then the Brazilian will be a cheap but solid addition to the squad.

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4 Responses to “Juventus Transfer : Making Sense Of The Lucio Deal”

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  1. Dhawal says:

    With Lucio I’m guessing Juve is just building on the bench strength cuz I dont think Conte will start with Lucio when Barzagli and Chiellini are there. Bonnucci seemed shaky at times last season but he impressed in Euros so after Barzagli and Chiellini, 8 out of 10 times Bonnucci will be given the preference. Juve could have done without this deal but as you said Lucio’s experience is something no one can ignore, specially when it comes to UCL. Our defense looks solid though for the next season.

    Pogba deal is confirmed too which again I feel is similar to Elia deal last year. Promising player who’ll hardly get any match time.

    I am desperately waiting for Juve to sign a good clinical striker who can score 20 odd goals a season. What’s your take on RVP speculations, imo he wont be successful in Italy for the simple reason of him being not creative enough. Suarez speculations are also there which I dont mind. What’s your take on that?

  2. Juve10 says:

    @Dhawal

    You bring up some pretty good points. Lucio will most possibly be benched during domestic games,and maybe more widely used in the UCL due to his experience. What Juventus are lacking now imo in the midfield are fast, creative players such as Ozil from Madrid, but I doubt he will leave that club. And you are right about the strikers, personally I don’t want Van Persie at Juve, there are other strikers to get such as Cavani, as he has had Serie A AND UCL experience. Maybe even Higuain from Madrid would be a nice option. And maybe as a last option, I would go with Balotelli for his recent performance in the Euros, EVEN though he has behavior issues, I reckon Juve (Pirlo mostly and Buffon) will be able to keep him in check, and seeing as Conte is a firm coach, he shouldn’t have too many issues becasue he can be a god damn dangerous attacker when he plays the game.

  3. shaan sengupta says:

    Realistically speaking which strikers have the best chance of ending up in a Juve shirt next season ??

  4. kobby twumasi says:

    lucio’s signing is very good as far as his experience in both club and country football is concerned. well done Marotta for your smartness in the acquisition of lucio but we can not wait to ser who that much highly expected stricker is going to be.that will finalise your congrats so GOOD LUCK SIR…..