Paulo Dybala certainly is an enigma. An extremely talented player with the right attitude who showcases great professionalism. And yet there is something missing. Something intangible, or rather a combination of minor tangibles that make the overall issue seem intangible.
During his time in Black and White, while he has delivered a fair number of very good performances, the question on the back of most Bianconeri’s mind has always been – when will he make the transition from very good to elite. There have been various occasions during the last 5 years, most notably that night against Barcelona 3 years ago when it was thought that he had finally arrived. But unfortunately, that proved to be another false dawn.
Perhaps the biggest draw back of his game has been the inflexibility of his skill set which requires the team to be set up in a particular way to get the best out of him. He is not an out and out striker and he is unable to influence the game when he is moved to a wide role as part of a front 3. Hence if he is to be played regularly in his preferred role behind the striker and the team built around him, then it is vital that he make the step up to the next level and start to stamp his authority on games, especially on the big occasions where he has regularly gone a miss.
It is this lack of versatility and his inability to transition into the role of lynch pin of the team that has prevented the club from going all in with him. While he has produced some memorable performances over the years the club have always been a bit wary on completely investing in him. So much so that over the last couple of seasons, they have been open to moving him on.
If rumors are to be believed, the reason for the deadlock on his contract renewal has been due to both parties being unable to agree on a new wage package, with the player’s representative asking for a figure double his current package. While his performances last season do warrant an increase in his current wages, the hard fact is that he has done nowhere near enough, for the club to justify a wage package of 13 to 15 million per season. For him to convince the club that he is worth those numbers he needs to elevate his game to a level where he becomes almost indispensable to the team, which currently he is not and most importantly rise to the occasions and become the go to man on the biggest of stages.
While without a doubt Dybala has provided the Bianconeri faithful quite a few unforgettable moments, for him to truly become an icon at the club he needs to start performing like one sooner rather than later. Because the clock is ticking on his black and white voyage.
By: Karan Naresh