As reported by Bianconerizone, Fabrizio Romano has announced the presence of three names on the Juventus shopping list to reinforce the midfield. Lyon's attacking midfielder Houssem Aouar, Sassuolo's defensive midfielder Manuel Locatelli and the famous Paul Pogba.
Of course, Juventus isn't planning on signing all three of them, and probably one or at most two of these players will come to Juventus. Given the high quality of all three options and the variety of services they can provide, a question raises among Juventus fans: Which one of them should Juventus sign?
The better player isn't necessarily the better signing, to answer the question firstly the situation of the Juventus midfield and its strengths and weaknesses must be examined so the best-suited addition can be unveiled.
Juventus have five main players in the midfield: Aaron Ramsey, Arthur, Adrien Rabiot, Weston McKennie, and Rodrigo Bentancur. Although all of them have the ability to play in most of the midfield positions, strangely all five of them are original no. 8 or Mezz 'alas. McKennie and Ramsey are advanced and attacking No. 8's while Arthur, Bentancur, and Rabiot are more involved in deeper activities than participating in attacks.
According to Whoscored data with an average of 524 accurate passes per game, Juventus is the best team of Serie A in this regard. Also, two of Juventus midfielders, Arthur (2nd) and Bentancur (7th), are among the top 10 midfielders of Serie A with the most number of passes. Unsurprisingly Manuel Locatelli tops this list. So Juventus midfielders have been good at ball distribution.
Looking at a number of assists, key passes, and expected assists, or in simply watching Juve games, indicates that Bianconeri's midfielder has done an awful job in creativity terms. Rabiot and Arthur have no assists, Bentancur and McKennie each have 2 assists and Ramsey has 3 assists so far into the season. According to Fbref stats, only McKennie (2.7) and Ramsey (2.5) have a higher than 2 xA.
Creativity isn't the only attacking problem of Old Lady's midfield as they have been even more disappointing in goal scoring. This is their involvements: 4 goals from McKennie, 2 goals from Ramsey, and one goal from Rabiot and Bentancur each.
Manuel Locatelli is the most similar football player to Xabi Alonso. Although he is not very fast, he is strong, he is well involved in defense. And while he is strong in defensive characteristics, he is very capable of playing the ball and can play short passes with a high percentage of accuracy, break the line, and is also very smart in choosing the rhythm and tempo of the game. In addition to all this, he is also very good at playing long passes and we have seen his creative long passes many times. (statistics)
If one of the current Juventus players is not going to leave, the addition of Locatelli is more logical than the other players, because with him the defensive strength to the midfield will return and in addition will increase the dose of creativity.
Although Locatelli isn't a fast player or doesn't have the work rate of a player like Kante or Brozovic, his tall and athletic body helps him to be a firm and solid DM. He covers the back, engages in duels, tackles, and recovers the ball. With a high number of touches and passes, he is considered a brilliant distributor of the ball, but the exciting factor is in addition to the high number of short passes, he also has that vision in him that enables him to break the line or create a brilliant scoring chance with a simple long ball.
Manuel Locatelli is a Xabi Alonso in the making, he needs to move to a big team to be labeled the next Xabi Alonso, but the tools are there.
If signing two of them is possible, the other one should be Paul Pogba.
Aouar, 23, is creative, assists, scores goals, and can dribble well. He is a suitable player to play in a role that currently Aaron Ramsey plays, obviously a better one than the Welshman himself. But compared to Paul Pogba, he falls drastically behind, not based on technique or pure football, but because of Pogba's package as he already knows Juve and has something to prove. Pogba is a player that the other teams don’t have, a player that makes the differences. If Juve had a simple DM who could do an ordinary job, signing Pogba would be better than Locatelli too because Paul Pogba is a champion. Like De Ligt & Ronaldo, Pogba is the difference between good teams and great teams. Pogba is what Pirlo meant when he said we have a few players with "character".