Now that the transfer window is officially shut, we know what our team will be for the season. (Or at least until January) The real evaluations of the mercato will come in January, or more likely, by May, but here I will do some preliminary grading. I've put a poll for each player as well, so you can weigh in on your thoughts statistically, as well as verbally down in the comments section. For now, we're going to ignore sales in this factor, so Diego, Giovinco, and Trezeguet won't factor in.
Marco Storari: A- Given San Gigi is out until January, we knew we needed a new keeper. The fact that we signed one even better than Manninger, and one who was Serie A's best performing keeper last year is excellent. The only demerit on my part is 4.5million seems like a hefty chunk of change to spend on a 33-year old reserve keeper.
Simone Pepe: C Keeping Pepe's rating from being a C- is the fact that he is one of the many that we signed on loan, thus, there is the hope he will not remain, although 2.5million for a loan is more of a "down payment" than a true loan. I understand we need depth, and Pepe fulfills that, but I have been more disappointed that I was expecting to be. Against Bari, seemingly none of his crosses or passes found their man, and he ran a lot, but that's not good enough. Maybe he'll come good...but I'm not holding my breath.
Davide Lanzafame: B For all the talk and lament about Giovinco leaving, there has been little applause for the fact that another Juventus youth product has come home. And he's grown a lot, too. Lanzafame has been traveling around the peninsula since age 20, when he played a very successful Serie B campaign with Bari. Last year, he had a solid season at Parma, scoring 7 goals in 27 appearances (and only 14 starts) and has returned home to Torino. I've watched him since his 07-08 season in Bari, and he has enormous potential. Has a good eye for goal, good pace, and decent dribbling ability. I think he's been one of the better wingers in preseason, and we've only started to scratch the surface of his potential. Let's just hope he gets playing time.
Leonardo Bonucci: A- His critics will tell you that Ranocchia was better last season, and has more potential. That's true, and I would have loved to see Andrea come to the good side, but unfortunately Canna's horror show and looming retirement meant we needed to sign the healthy one. He doesn't complement Chiellini as well as Ranocchia would (Ranocchia more a ball-playing sweeper, Bonucci more of a hardman like Giorgio) but either way, he's a very good young player. Bonucci's had an average start to his Juve career, he makes some hasty/poor tackles, but this is his 2nd season in Serie A, and his 1st at a big club. It will take time for him to integrate. The price tag is high, but I'm f***ing satisfied that finally, we spilled out for a defender.
Jorge Martinez: B Martinez has, in my opinion, come under the most unwarranted criticism this transfer campaign. 12mil is a large amount of money, but I would rate him around 10mil, not that bad of a deal for someone who has scored 22 goals in 86 games. Jorge has a nice amount of tricks here and there, and can play both wings. My concerns are primarily the fact that he's been woefully out of shape at camp and is now injured with a knee problem, but I think he's a quality "reserve" for the future otherwise. Considering he costs 2mil more than Simone Pepe would eventually cost...well, he's far more talented. Decent pickup, I think.
Marco Motta: B- I've always questioned Marco Motta's skill, it seems like Amauri his entire reputation is riding on a very good 3 months, with his fans ignoring the subsequent disastrous year and a half. I've been moderately impressed with what I've seen thus far, though. Both his attacking and defending need refinement, I think he's an upgrade on what we had with Zebina, but still a long way to earn my faith.
Milos Krasic: A In a tremendously overpriced market, Krasic is a good signing at 15mil. He's no Pavel Nedved, but I think Krasic will come good. Adjusting to Serie A from the Russian league will take time, though, so don't be surprised if he gets the Bidone d'Oro in December and then is widely acknowledged as a master signing next spring. Fast as hell, occasional eye for goal, good crossing, Krasic is a quality signing and one I am very excited about.
Alberto Aquilani: A Of course this grade all depends on his health, but given the 9-hour medical he underwent, can't blame Marotta for signing him. Very much the type of player we needed to add in midfield, someone with quality and skill, an eye for a shot and a good pass. Marchisio has been in relatively poor form recently, so maybe the Aquilani competition will jog him up, but either way, Aquilani is a creative central midfielder and that's what we needed this summer.
Fabio Quagliarella: B- There's a lot of questions about this move for me, for example, is Fabio worth 15million euros, and can he finally deliver consistent performances? Or the age old question, can he make it at a big club? Last year was a pretty poor one for Fabio at Napoli, it appears the weight of being the hometown boy and the refusal of certain members of the squad to accept him (Hamsik) hurt his performances. Can he deliver at Juventus, or did we just waste 4.5million euros (and his salary) on a loan?
Leandro Rinaudo: B I know what some of you will say...Rinaudo is a rubbish player and not Juventus quality. Both are legitimate statements. He's our 4th CB, which we needed, and on loan with no obligation to buy. Moreso, his poor performances at Napoli can probably be attributed partially to the 3-man defense which he is not cut out for, just as Bocchetti and Moretti look(ed) average at Genoa in their leaky defense. 5mil seems a bit high to sign him for, he's not worth that much, but again, there's no obligation and I'd rather see Rinaudo step in to play CB in February than Grygera or Motta.
Armand Traore: D Absolutely makes no sense to me. First, why would Wenger let a 20-year old go? Arsenal fans say he is decent going forward, but poor defensively. And that's in the EPL. I could understand if we had a veteran player, the merits of signing a young inexperienced kid to learn from him, but why reinforce De Ceglie, aka "a defensively raw inexperienced left-back" with another one? Supposedly he played left-wing at Portsmouth to some acclaim, but all in all, this move just makes little sense to me. Not entirely writing this kid off, but from what I've been told, we'd probably be better off playing Grosso.
Overall Signings: B+ Could the mercato have been better? Sure. But after Aquilani's signing, I said ideally I'd like a left-back, a center-back, and a striker. We got 2/3, and I'm glad we didn't sign Borriello in full...in addition to all the previous work Marotta did. The only signings I really do not like are Traore and Pepe, but thankfully both are on loan and should be considered reserves. In rebuilding the team, Marotta perhaps opted for "quantity over quality" but to take a team that finished in 7th place with record amounts of goals and losses, that's what needs to be done.
Beppe Marotta: B- This category kind of meshes with the above, but the above is about signings, this is about overall work. I agree that there are questions over the quality in our squad, but there is no doubt this team should be able to get into the Champion's League. And I agree that perhaps letting Trezeguet, Diego, and Caceres leave when they could have been influential was a mistake. However, remember Krasic, Storari, Bonucci, and Martinez are the only ones we own, the rest can leave if they don't cut it this season. The squad is younger (youngest in Serie A), we rebuilt the wings, and offloaded high salary players like Tiago, Z3BINA (finally), Poulsen, Trezeguet, Camoranesi, Cannavaro and (d'oh) Diego, to create a lot more salary space for future signings. Marotta had a LOT of work cut out for him- defense, wings, bring down the age, and offload players, and he did them all pretty well, hard to expect a perfect record in each category. Marotta is in his first season at a big club. He's got things to learn as well, though I think his negotiating and recognition of the team's needs are encouraging.