As transfer news and rumors start coming in until the start of the new season, I am going to dive deep into the Juventus goalkeeping situation and how it can improve for the 2021-2022 season. Max Allegri’s return has granted him some of the squad building duties along with recently promoted Federico Cherubini. We will see what they can do in the market.
Let’s start with realizing the current situation in goal. Gigi Buffon has left the club again, and this time probably for good. The 43-year-old legend was immense for Juventus this season and definitely should have started more games down the final stretch of the season. Every time he stepped between the pipes, Juventus played with more confidence and were unbeaten in 14 matches (12 wins 2 draws). He was one of the main influences in our Coppa Italia success and he was a main protagonist in the dressing room.
At the start of the season, Wojciech Szczesny (Tek) looked unbeatable as he was playing very well. However, for whatever reason, at the turn of the new year, he just started making countless mistakes that costed the team advancement in the Champions League and it continued as he contributed to the team losing points in Serie A. The advanced stats also prove what we physically saw on the pitch as the Pole posted a -0.08 PSxG-GA (expected goals based on how likely the goalkeeper is to save the shot). According to Fbref.com, his PSxG put him in the bottom third of Serie A goalies. Being a Juventus goalkeeper requires a professional mentality and always being prepared. Szczesny continuously struggled with crosses this season finishing in the bottom half of Serie A goalkeepers with 6.6% of crosses stopped. The glaring error that sticks out for all fans was the blunder at home against Milan that gifted the visitors a lead just before half in what was, the most critical game of the season. The Juventus number one has come up big for the team on occasion, however, more consistency in net is required.
So where do we go from here? Below, a list of goalkeepers will be listed and among those, three will be picked to be the netminders for next season. The goalies will be selected based on on-pitch performance and with a conscious eye on the financial side of the game.
We could promote Pinso into our number 2 goalkeeper but that, in my opinion, is the worst-case scenario. We know who Pinsoglio is. He is a great teammate who everyone loves and his salary barely puts a dent into the wage bill. He is a free agent as of now so we still need to sign him.
Mattia returns from his loan with Genoa after having an average season. His counting stats were quite low, which was to be expected playing with a lower table squad. He did post a higher PSxG than Szczesny. The Italian goalkeeper earns almost 4 million euros a season but he would be a great backup.
Having already mentioned his season above, the only way the Pole can come back is if Max Allegri has faith in him to regain his form. He earns a high wage and if sold, he could return a solid capital gain.
The player that Juventus has monitored most in the goalkeeping position this transfer window is Italy's number one, Gianluigi Donnarumma. The generational talent is available as a free agent and this market opportunity cannot be passed on. The rumors of Barcelona also trying to sign Gigi does not make a lot of sense to me as Barcelona has a clear number one in Marc Andre Ter Stegen. Donnarumma also does not truly fit in Barcelona’s playing philosophy. His distribution is not the greatest. His PSxG-GA was a +0.05 this season. His shot-stopping is at an elite level and will only improve. The problem with young Gigi is his ability to play the ball. With Allegri back in the fold as the coach, this will not be a major problem as playing out of the back is not necessarily his philosophy. The Italian landed in the top third of Serie A by stopping 8.6% of crosses. This shows his ability to catch the ball and command his box.
By looking at the options available, there is only one reasonable choice for Juventus to make this summer regarding their goalkeeping situation. Signing Carlo Pinsoglio to his team-friendly contract is a must as the experienced Italian is an exceptional team player. Hopefully, he will remain as the third-choice goalkeeper for Juventus next season. Having Mattia Perin arrive back on loan will provide Juventus with a solid backup goalkeeper. The Italian has the experience of playing 237 Serie A matches and can provide good competition for Juventus' number one option in goal next season. That number one goalkeeper should be Gianluigi Donnarumma. The market opportunity would be too foolish to pass up. Signing a 22-year-old generational player for 10 million euros a season has to be a top priority for the club. His career is trending upwards quickly and it is good business. By signing Donnarumma, it leaves current number one goalie, Wojciech Szczesny, expendable. Ultimately, Tek did not have a good season. It was wildly inconsistent and much more was needed from him. Juventus need to find another club to buy the Polish international, and a return to the Premier League could be on the horizon. The list below portrays my stance on the goalkeeper situation. The decisions make sense to do financially and it makes sense as the squad improves.
1. Gianluigi Donnarumma
2. Mattia Perin
3. Carlo Pinsoglio
Lets us know your thoughts on the goalkeeper situation. Do you want to keep Szczesny?