Luca Marrone's move to Sassuolo wasn't surprising. We knew it was going to happen. All we were waiting for was the announcement to be on Juventus' official website and off young Luca went. That came on early Monday afternoon, less than 12 hours before the summer transfer window shut in Italy.
Not any kind of shocking development. Nothing like that. But it just felt...odd? While Juventus doing a ton on the deadline's last day of activity was never really going to happen, seeing Marrone go out on co-ownership was a bit difficult to figure out considering it happened so late in the window. In a way, Marrone's move to Sassuolo kinda symbolizes the way the last day of the transfer window went for Juventus. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.
We heard the chatter, though. Did any of it come to fruition? You tell me...
- Juve could have done with adding another player on the wings, that didn't happen.
- Juve were rumored to be in the hunt for Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan, that didn't happen.
- Juve needed some kind of cover in the center of the midfield with Marrone's departure, that didn't happen.
In case you didn't notice by now, not a lot actually happened on deadline day.
You can nitpick about the first two all you want, but the third one is the reason why we're here. Marrone wasn't slated to be a starter this season, but that's not breaking news to anybody. He was, presumably at least, fifth on the pecking order and second option off the bench in terms of center midfielders after Paul Pogba following Emanuele Giaccherini going off to England after signing with Sunderland. That seems like a rather logical assumption, right?
Obviously that's not going to happen now — and Juve are short in the center of the midfield because of it.
For as much as good as Beppe Marrota and Co. did in the first month of the transfer window — signing Carlos Tevez on a relatively low transfer fee, bringing in Angelo Ogbonna — the final day of the transfer window just didn't give off the same vibe when it comes to moving Marrone to Sassuolo.
It's almost as though Marrone's move to a lower-ranking Serie A club came a year too late.
But, in Marrone's mind, it wasn't just about a little more playing time. It was about regular playing time and as a midfielder. Period.
"If I have to be honest, the role I prefer is playing in front of the defense. I want to become an important part of this team and finally be able to demonstrate my worth. I thank the club for wanting me so much. My objective is to play with the regularity I did not have at Juventus."
And that's the thing. Marrone's 23 years old, a time in a lot of youngster's careers when they start to show that they're capable of being a productive part of their team's future. Claudio Marchisio made that step despite the collective group around him being not so good when he was 23 four years ago. Marrone might not have the all-around talent that Marchisio does, but he still could have been a productive contributor to this current Juventus squad — especially more than he had been in the previous two campaigns.
Is it a good thing that Marrone is going to play more often than not? Absolutely. I don't think that aspect of the situation is really a bad thing considering how little he has played over the last two seasons. Still, you'd just like to send an actual piece to the puzzle out to another team knowing there's another one coming back in. I guess this means we'd better get ready for more of the Simone Padoin Experience — even more than we're used to.