Dani Alves’ potential arrival in Turin could begin a transfer merry-go-round which could see Switzerland captain and Juventus’ current first-choice right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner move to the English capital.
With Dani Alves’ move from Barcelona to Juventus all but confirmed following the 33-year-old right-back’s goodbye message on Instagram, it seems Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri will be spoilt for choice in the right-back position next season. The ex-Milan boss would welcome depth in that area since Juventus struggle to replace Stephan Lichtsteiner in the starting lineup when he picks up an injury.
Despite being the consummate professional and a superb athlete, the 32-year-old Switzerland international has been dogged by injuries. The question, however, is who will start for Juventus when both players are fit. Conventional logic suggests that Dani Alves, who is making such a huge switch this late in his career, is unlikely to have taken the decision without being fairly sure of getting playing time in Turin.
Lichtsteiner flattered by PSG interest
It is understandable why Lichtsteiner, who has spent eight years in Italy, is not exactly relishing the prospect of competition for a starting spot with a champion like Dani Alves, who has virtually won every accolade there is to win more than once.
The ex-Lazio star, who had committed his future to Juventus two months ago, is now unsure about his future in Turin. While preparing for Euro 2016, Lichtsteiner spoke to Fichajes about his future. Referring to the possibility of Dani Alves’ arrival, the Swiss fullback said, “There is no problem, we’ll see what happens.”
Lichtsteiner admitted that it was flattering to be linked to PSG, whom he considers as one of the best teams in Europe. “PSG are one of the best teams in Europe and I’m proud to be associated with them because they seek the best in each position,” he added.
“There are many strong and interesting leagues: Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga or Ligue 1. I do not close the door to anything but I’m a Juve player.”
Reunion with Conte at Chelsea?
The Metro reports that Chelsea have already held talks with Lichtsteiner. Chelsea are not exactly well provisioned in the right-back department and Lichtsteiner’s former boss Antonio Conte, with who he has tasted unprecedented Serie A success, could tempt him to move to London. His direct runs in the box, ability to get behind the defender and sharp shooting in the final third have made him an asset to Juventus — especially in Conte’s system where he acts as an attacking outlet when the deep-lying playmaker is in possession of the ball.
Lichtsteiner’s pace, even at 32, would be a significant improvement over that of Serbian Branislav Ivanovic, who is not quite the same player he was before. Besides, the Swiss captain’s agility, composure on the ball and decisiveness in the final third of the pitch mean that he is a much better player going forward than any of Chelsea’s current fullbacks.
Juventus see Mattia De Sciglio as a replacement
It would seem that Juventus manager Allegri has already thought of a a candidate to replace Lichtsteiner should he choose to move on. Milan’s Mattia De Sciglio, who enjoyed his best seasons under Max Allegri in Milan, has had a spiralling dip in form since the change of regime at the club.
De Sciglio has now suffered two horrid seasons at the San Siro, marred with injuries and poor performances. However, at times, a change of destination can help revive a player’s career, which is exactly what Juve fans would hope to see if De Sciglio makes the switch. Stephan El Sharaawy has revitalised his career in a similar way with Roma.
However, Calciomercato reports that Adriano Galliani would be reluctant to let De Sciglio leave. Milan consider De Sciglio as an integral cog in the larger Italian core that the club are aiming to build, despite his poor form. Therefore the youngster, who only two years ago was announced as the successor to Paolo Maldini, is still of considerable value to Milan. Besides, even though he has plenty of room for improvement, De Sciglio is no match for Lichtsteiner and is not necessarily the same style of footballer either.