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Dissecting the transfer strategies over the last decade.

There are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there is fifty feet of crap, and then us” – Billy Beane, Moneyball

Back in May 2011, it would not have been beyond the realmsof possibility for Juventini to associate the above statement with their beloved club. While that might be a bit of an exaggerated stance, the essence of the underlying message holds true. We were a club without direction, carrying a number of fundamental flaws, some of it self-inflicted and some from the remanence of Calciopoli. It was blatantly obvious to all that a new approach was needed.

One of the simplest definition of Economics is that “It is the most efficient use of the available limited resources”. While each one of us would love to own Blue Chip stocks such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple etc and experience the various benefits of doing so, the reality is that for most of us there is a general limit to our resources. These logics hold true in any walk of life and the Football Transfer Market though seemingly cocooned within its own inflationary bubble is no different. Not everyone has the resources of a Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid or PSG.

The transfer approach of Juventus during this past decade can thus be categorized into 2 distinct periods – The period of limited resources and the period of extravagance.

Period of Limited Resources (2011/12 – 2014/15):

Without a doubt, this was the period where both Giuseppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici produced their absolute best work. Forced to work on a shoestring budget, they realized that it would be a while until they could compete financially with other big clubs, both at home and abroad. With Blue Chip purchases out of the question, it was time to get creative. It was time to look at Value and Growth buys.

Players of the caliber of Vucinic, Asamoah and Quagliarellawhere all brought in for a combined total expense of less than €45 million. Barzagli, a player who would go on to be a pillar of the squad over the decade was purchased at a criminally undervalued price of €300,000. Later, Evra who was brought during his latter days for £1.2 million had a great impact both on and off the field.

In addition to such deals, players with high growth potential were brought in and developed over the subsequent years. In the long run, the club certainly reaped the benefits of these deals not just from a re sale value perspective, but also from the performances of these players on the field.

Vidal was brought in for around €12 million and after performing at a high level for 4 seasons was sold to Bayern for €39 million. Similarly, Pogba who was signed on a free transfer would later develop into one of the most sort after players, resulting in him moving back to Manchester United for a then world record fee.

While all of these were extremely well worked deals, they pale in comparison to the two most extraordinary value purchases during this time.

Signing Carlos Tevez for £12 million was certainly an astute piece of business. While the controversies and subsequent media attention surrounding his latter days in England without a doubt played a part in forcing Manchester City into a distress sale, credit should still be given to Marotta and Paratici for being able to strike a deal at that price. There was absolutely no way that price was a true reflection of Tevez’s value.

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