The 3-0 home defeat to Fiorentina was a fitting end to 2020. Although the old lady was able to continue winning the Scudetto, 2020 was not a good year for Juventus, and no better end could be imagined for 2020 than this humiliating defeat.
Juventini had hoped that 2021 would be better than 2020, but the team calendar in the first month of the year did not help. Juventus had to play nine games in January, including two appearances at the San Siro against Milan and Inter, as well as the Super Cup final against Napoli, which was important after the drama of Di Laurentiis and the CONI court. Also, the games against Udinese, Sassuolo and Sampdoria, who were in good form, were not easy.
In the last nine games, Juventus defeated Udinese, Milan, Sassuolo, Napoli, Bologna, SPAL & Sampdoria and lost to Inter. During these games, the Bianconeri scored 23 goals while conceding only 7 times. Federico Chiesa was Juventus' top scorer with 5 goals, while Dejan Kulusevski and Cuadrado were at the top of Juventus assist ranking this month.
The team also managed to record 4 consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season, in which the share of Szczesny, Chiellini, Danilo and Bonucci in 3 of these clean sheets was more than the others. This month saw Weston McKennie become an untouchable midfielder, while Arthur was finally able to fit in perfectly and look like Arthur of Barcelona. There were players like Cuadrado, Morata, Dybala and de Ligt that played very well in all of the games they played but missed a big part of this month's games due to injury or coronavirus.
Taking all this into consideration, these 3 players make it to the podium of Bianconeri Zone's Player of the month:
Danilo is the surprise of the season. He was never this good last season or during his spells in Madrid and Manchester. This transitional role between a CB and a Full Back fits him well and in January, like in previous months, he played a very influential role in the back. Good defensive performance, noticeable contributions to recoveries and ball distribution were accompanied by 2 assists and 1 goal. The motivation, enthusiasm and sometimes hints that Danilo gives to the young players are also among his positive points in addition to his technical issues.
Before joining Juventus, Federico Chiesa was seen as a big waste of money but the Italian international proved everyone wrong. Chiesa started January with a goal and an assist to Ronaldo against Udinese. He then set San Siro on fire with two fantastic goals against Milan. Against Sassuolo he was the main reason that Pedro Obiang was dismissed and that would never have happened without his tears. Against Inter, he wasn't as bad as the rest of the players, he created Juventus' only chance. He got injured against Napoli in the first half and missed the second half of the Super Cup, as well as the next game against Bologna. On his return to the field against SPAL, he had a goal and an assist. Finally with a goal against Sampdoria, he finished his job this month.
And the best player of January goes to ... Tek Szczesny. Szczesny used to be one of the most underrated players of the world but currently it's very hard to sleep on his name. The Pole has a Golden Glove and a Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year under his belt. However his most impressing work is being the Goat's successor and making it look easy. After decades of witnessing Buffon's greatness week in week out, Juventini's expectations from their GK is very high.
Last month, Tek was no less than a superhero. His eight saves in a life-and-death game against AC Milan at the San Siro prevented the Rossoneri from scoring at least two goals for the first time this season according to Opta. In the last 5 years, the Juventus goalkeepers have never had eight saves in any Serie A game, and therefore this was a record of its own kind.
In another game at the San Siro, this time against Inter, he prevented the humiliation of Juventus with his three great saves, even though he saw the ball touching the back of his net twice. However, on the second goal of Inter he could act like a sweeper and cover acres of space left behind the defenders.
In another important game this month, in the Super Cup, he scored a clean sheet with 2 big saves and was one of Juventus' main supporters in winning the first cup of the season. He has also not conceded a goal in the last 3 games.