Juventus were rather quiet in terms of acquisitions compared to years prior. This comes as a surprise, considering the team lost one of football’s elite in Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United. A player of Ronaldo’s caliber is essentially impossible to replace, but one would think a club of Juventus’ stature would have done more.
With all that being said, the club still addressed a few key issues. Besides players returning on loan, Juventus completed five deals. They didn’t make any moves in the defence, but it wasn’t exactly necessary due to the load of talent they already have such as Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Mattijs de Ligt, and Alex Sandro. Their moves came in the midfield (which was an issue last season), and they attempted to replace Ronaldo in the frontline with youngsters.
Juventus Transfer Window Grades
The purchases here include Weston McKennie, Manuel Locatelli, and Mohamed Ihattaren.
McKennie returns permanently after a loan move from Schalke. The American broke out in Serie A last season, quickly becoming a household name for the Bianconeri. Last season he scored five goals and recorded two assists from the midfield, which are impressive numbers when considering that he did not starting all of the matches. McKennie is also just 23-years-old. He’s one of the major names in the up-and-coming American crop of talent and overall a very solid player for a solid price.
Locatelli also arrives from Sassuolo. This comes after not only a fantastic Serie A campaign, but also a strong Euro 2020 showing. Locatelli was a member of AC Milan in the past, where he showed potential before blossoming at Sassuolo. The Italian holding midfielder can do it all. His defensive instincts are top notch, he supplies accurate passes, and has a missile of a long-shot. Locatelli, if not already, will become a surefire starter for Juventus. Like McKennie, he’s also just 23-years-old. The Italian is the present and future of this midfield.
The last move was the purchase of Ihattaren from PSV. The 19-year-old plays primarily as an attacking midfielder. Last season, while at PSV, he scored three goals and provided two assists in 22 Eredivisie matches. Right now he’s too young for the bright lights at Juventus. For that reason, he’ll spend this season on loan at Sampdoria. This is a wise move for Juventus, as Ihattaren will gain valuable Serie A experience.
Replacing Ronaldo is an impossible task. With that being said, there’s plenty of veteran footballers that can somewhat fill the void. Instead of taking that route, however, Juventus opted for Moise Kean and Kaio Jorge.
Kean is a solid young striker, by all means, at 21-years-old. Last season, while on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, he scored 13 goals in 26 Ligue 1 appearances. He also scored three goals in nine Champions League matches. He struggled the seasons prior in the Premier League with Everton, but in his last season with Juventus in 2018/19, he scored six goals in 13 Serie A appearances. The Italian can find the back of the net, which is clearly the most important trait for a striker. What he’s not able to do at this moment is compete for the Capocannoniere race like Ronaldo and be the main star in the Champions League.
Should Juventus keep Kean for the foreseeable future, his return may pay off. For now, however, the move doesn’t immediately solve their issues. He arrived on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy in 2023 should certain objectives be met.
Jorge is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on. Arriving from Santos in Brazil, the 19-year-old carries plenty of potential. His statistics don’t jump off the board from his time in Brazil, but he’s still a teenager. Juventus will need to focus heavily on his development, which they certainly will, and Jorge may flourish in the future. For this season, however, he doesn’t change the squad.
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