-"There will be lots of trades, a situation that will bring football closer to the NBA" -
Those were the words of Paratici to TuttoSport in march 2020. A few months later he kept his words with the mind-boggling trade of Arthur for Pjanic in a deal very much “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” with a debt-ridden Bartomeu Barcelona.
Paratici is very much criticized by Juventini for failing to live up to their expectations, however, despite of all the shortcomings of this season’s squad. He started laying the foundations of a very interesting team for years to come. I, for one, can take a scudetto-less year (Although not settled just yet), for a young squad that can compete for honors for many seasons.
We’ve seen it time and time again, too much success can make management rest on their laurels. The Milan of Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Maldini, and co., the Manchester of Sir Alex Ferguson, the post-Mourinho Inter and more recently; and to a much lesser extent, the all-conquering Barcelona and Real Madrid, have suffered the consequences of not rebuilding in time.
Juventus has a very good structure to build upon. De Ligt, Demiral, Bentancur, Arthur, McKennie, Chiesa, Kulusevski are all under 25 years old. We still have to see how the likes of Dragusin, Pellegrini and Fagioli develop and see if out-on-loan Rovella comes back to the team or is used as a trading piece. Even the “older” ones still have many years to give, Morata, Szczesny, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Dybala. And finally, the senatori are by no means done just yet, Ronaldo, Bonucci, Cuadrado, Sandro, Chiellini and even Buffon are still playing at top-level standards and can still contribute to the team.
I feel Juventus is two or three pieces short of being a truly elite team, and it’s probably not a coincidence that precisely the missing pieces linked with Juve, are from teams that Paratici has years-long-relationships with. You can criticize him all you want, but the sought-after by Roma and Manchester director is a lot smarter than some give him credit for.
Locatelli, Aouar, and Gosens are three important pieces that are widely considered to possibly contribute massively to take Juventus to the next level, and; probably not by chance, Paratici is in an advantageous position to deal with all of them first hand.
Let’s take a closer look:
Hamed Junior Traore / Locatelli
Hamed Junior Traore is a 21 years old midfielder who plays for Sassuolo. He has played 24 out of 27 games in Serie A this season, scoring three goals and assisting one in the process. Sassuolo signed him in synergy with Juventus in exchange for a preferential price for two years in case Juventus decides to sign him. According to ilBianconero.com, the price for Juve would be 15 million euros. A very good price for a young and solid midfielder.