As agents busied themselves in hotel corridors, the phone lines jammed (for everyone but Beppe and Paratici, courtesy of those ultra-handy foreign SIM cards bequeathed to them by Moggi!!) and many a last minute deal was scuppered by injury concerns or just managed to sneak through before the winter mercato door slammed shut, most juventini were left largely where they were at the start of January. Some celebrated the departure of Motta with a bottle of limoncello, others, like me, organized feasts and festivities to share in the joy of DJ Paolino's move to...anywhere but Vinovo and all of us pondered, with a mixture of tentative glee and concern, the arrival of Dani Osvaldo.
Sitting pretty at the summit of Serie A, our traditional January slump avoided, it could be very reasonably argued that our senior squad was far from in need of major renovation. Just a few loose ends to tie up, perhaps the movement of one of our strikers to pastures anew. Yet what of our youth sector? Was that also left relatively unchanged? Not in the slightest. For Beppe had his fingers in so many pies that even now, he remains caked in pastry.
Too much transpired of potentially little newsworthy value to offer a run-down on the whole show. I will attempt to focus on the most interesting of happenings. Beginning with a player much talked about prior to his injury, Ouasim Bouy.
A former Ajax academy star, Bouy has moved on loan to Bundesliga side Hamburg SV. After impressing greatly in Holland, Juve snapped up the Dutch U-19 international attacking midfielder in late January 2012. Involved with the primavera for the remainder of the season, he scored several goals and impressed with his creativity and maturity. During the Summer, he found a loan move to Serie B side Brescia. The then-19-year-old quickly forced his way into contention, and went on to make an impressive 17 first XI appearances, assisting 5 goals and netting one for himself. However, that cruel jester of misfortune soon struck, when during a friendly match in early February of 2013, the dutch flair merchant ruptured his cruciate ligament (similar injury to the woe Fabio Quagliarella suffered a year before).
His season was over. A long road of rehabilitation awaited him. As the summer of 2013 began to draw to a close, Ouasim was back on the grass, training with the first team squad. The decision was made to keep him at the club until Christmas, allow him to continue his recovery under the steely gaze of probably a better quality of medical staff than could be found back in Serie B, where it was expected he would return, once fully fit. Some fans concluded that he may even be able to earn a few outings in the league and be seen and used as a back-up as the season progressed. To me, this seemed lunatic optimism as I had concluded that far from been a part of Antonio Conte’s plans, the club was simply keeping him wrapped up in cotton wool until the winter mercato window opened. Whilst he did manage a few minutes against Avellino in the Coppa Italia, it was clearly a gesture of faith and respect for the player, a chance to stretch his legs briefly, get a few touches of the ball in a competitive match for the first time in many moons and taste the action in the safest possible fixture we will have all season.
Brescia were interested in bringing him back to their ranks to add to their promotion push. Novara were also eager to roll the Bouy dice, but his agent, Mino Raiola, and the club, had other plans. Namely, a move to the German top flight to play under his countryman Bert van Marwijk at Hamburger SV. The side currently sit awkwardly in 17th spot, and will be aiming to push up the table away from relegation concerns. van Marwijk is of good pedigree, having won the UEFA and domestic cups with Feyenoord, and taken the Netherlands to a World Cup Final in 2010. Commenting on the transfer, the experienced coach has this to say…
"Ouasim Bouy was a super talent back at Ajax. I have never seen him play, still I am aware of him.
"He will strengthen us in midfield. He had a bad injury but now he is back fit and is longing to play."
Bouy made his first start in the unfortunate, recent 3-0 loss away to Hoffenheim. Followed up with 45 minutes in yet another 3-0 reverse, this time at the vicious hands of Hertha Berlin.
Apologies for ending what seemed such promising news with mention of an awful debut, albeit not personally, for the team as a whole seems in a rather wretched period of form. What we must focus upon is the experience value of playing for the first team in one of the top leagues in Europe.
On to something more appetizing, and not yet soured by any horrible results...
After much discussion we have finally signed Grigoris Kastanos, the deal coming to fruition as the player turned 16 on the 30th of January. Whilst Man City and Arsenal were coveting the player, Beppe and Paratici swooped in for him in December, with a bid thought to be around €100,000, to secure the services of the Enosis Neon Paralimni FC youngster. Already part of the Cyprus U-17 squad at 15 years old, Grigoris found himself in the spotlight after scoring a wonderful free-kick against Germany in November, when turning out for his country’s U-16 team. Comfortable as a striker or winger, the up and coming forward is good with both feet and talked off in his homeland as one of the most promising talents ever to emerge from Cyprus.
Clearly too young for the Primavera (U-19s) Grigoris will join the Allievi (15-17 year olds) squad.
Another of our latest investments finds our EUROS heading into the Palermo coffers for a 50 percent stake in 20-year-old central defender Edoardo Goldaniga. The Italy U20 starlet has been a regular in the first XI for Lega Pro side Pisa and will remain at the club until the Summer.
Also signed up is French defender, Yoan Severin. At just 17 years of age, the 1.88m tall left footed Yoan was born and bred in Lyon, where he played until moving to Evian and then, in late January just passed, to Juve. A centre-back who was a commanding captain of the Evian U17s is welcome to the fold.
Twenty-year-old left back, Matteo Liviero has moved to Juve Stabia on loan. The fullback who has represented Italy at every level from U-17-U-21 started the season at Serie B newcomers Carpi, after a solid previous campaign with Perugia in Lega Pro.
With only three appearances in the league and 1 in the Coppa Italia, it was decided to move him to a club where it is hoped he will find more competitive action. And with his new side Juve Stabia sitting rock bottom, surely they will give Liviero a chance to impress sooner rather than later.
I have followed the youngster since been alerted to his horrific kidney injury suffered during a game against Pisa in the 2012-13 campaign. Within two months, he had not only emerged from the hospital ward but was back on the field for Perugia. Clearly he is made of stern stuff.
His last international outings came in September of last year for the Azzurrini and October with the U-20 squad.
Fledgling terzino Lorenzo Granatiero is on a whirlwind of a voyage. At just 16 years of age, Lorenzo was turning out for his local side, Manfredonia in Serie D in September. Forcing his way into the team, his solid performances belied his tender adolescence and with several teams scouting him, Juve stepped in to bring him into the fold.
For a 16 year old to have made 14 first team appearances in Serie D bodes very well for the future. A brief analysis of the move can be found HERE.
Yet another addition to our youth ranks comes in the form of Daniele Guglielmi. Also a terzino, not yet 16, needing special dispensation to play with the seniors, Daniele has made 3 appearances for Barletta Calcio this season which was enough to place our EUROS on the table and entice him to Turin. His agent is the same shrewd operator who discovered Marco Verratti…
Also on the move is former primavera frontman, Stefano Padovan, who has joined Vicenza (Lega Pro) on loan after finding minutes on the field too hard to come by at Pescara, where he made five appearances from the bench after his summer move. Whilst it is a shame to see him drop down to the third tier of Italian football, if he gets games, and gets goals, the transfer is certainly better for his development than rotting on the bench elsewhere. At his age, he needs matches at senior level. Let us hope that Vicenza can give him the opportunity his talents - displayed last term in Juventus' primavera — suggest he strongly deserves. Vicenza are currently 7th, two points away from the play-off zone.
Ecuadorian U20 international Jose Cevallos has been signed outright from homeland club LDU Quito. After paying €200,000 for his loan deal which ran from late January 2013 to the end of the year, Juve have paid another €1.5 million to secure the player’s full registration. Jose heralds from a footballing family, with his father, Jose Cevallos, considered by many to be the greatest Ecuadorian keeper of all time. Like his old man, Jose junior made his name domestically at Quito, making an impressive 30-plus appearances for the senior side before moving to Italy. So far this season the attacking midfielder has made six appearances in the primavera league, four in the UEFA Youth League and two in the Primavera Coppa Italia. It would have been great to see him find a loan club in January, get back amongst the seniors, although, at 18 years old, he really does have time on his side.
The German U-19 international centre-back. Marc-Oliver Kempf, whom the club were close to signing last Summer, seemed set to sign for Juve in January, but now it appears that they must wait until the summer.
The figures been broached are €500,000 for the loan, with €4.5 million to make the move permanent. Which certainly seems a fair amount of gold nuggets to exchange for the ownership of a player with solely 4 first team appearances to his name. Although, he has been a regular for the German U-19 since last September (8 caps), which is no mean feat for an 18 year old.
Whilst he is not part of the starting XI for Frankfurt, he is a regular for their U-19 team and also Frankfurt II, which operates as their reserve squad, sticking to U-23 players, acting as a bridge between the youth team and senior squad. They operate in the Regionalliga Südwest league, which is the fourth level down in German football (alongside other regional leagues). So whilst young Marc-Oliver hasn’t made strides with the first XI, he has managed 21 games for the German U-19s and two other squads he is a part of, which is encouraging when added to his solitary Bundesliga showing and europa league outing against Bordeaux for Frankfurt.
He certainly appears an interesting prospect, and our consistent eagerness to bring him into the fold suggests we have found a player too special to leave alone, but the end of this story must now wait until the Summer.
Juventus youth product, Joel Untersee is set to move on loan to Swiss second division outfit FC Vaduz. South African born Joel is a right back but can also operate higher up the field as a right midfielder and has represented Switzerland at international level since he was 14 years old. Currently a regular for the Swiss U20s it is hoped that the senior experience will help his development.
I feel I have gone far enough, in terms of detailed (in some cases) analysis of the moves...and will now aim for a menage-a-trois with Useful News and my nemesis, Brevity.
Of all our primavera players last year, he was the one whose star shone the brightest. A devil in the final third — Intelligent, aware, always making brilliant runs and as useful at creating opportunities for others as finding the net himself. Undoubtedly our most talented forward between the Boakyes and Berardis of the more established of our youngsters and the up and coming Marzouks and Soumahs of our present U-19 squad. Definitely one to keep an eye upon...It comes as no surprise to see him regularly turning out for the Italian U-20 first XI.
Beltrame has been co-owned with Sampdoria, but remains at Bari. In exchange we have a 50 percent stake in goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo. I am unsure how this benefits us but I suppose it is good news to see other Serie A sides investing in our youth prospects. The striker will remain at Bari for the remainder of the season.
Sassuolo, fast becoming Juventus B, have purchased Empoli's 50 percent stake in the ultra promising CentreBack Daniele Rugani. We own the other half of his registration, which seems a very solid investment, given his 20 Serie B starts and continued selection for the Italy U20 squad. The 19-year-old has also been involved in the Italy U-21's last three fixtures, but is yet to make his debut.
We have entered into a co-ownership deal for Senegalese flying winger Mame Thiam with Lanciano. At 21 years of age, big Mame has been a first team regular all season for Baroni's boys. Tricky on the ball with an eye for goal, it appears an interesting move, at the cost of 50% of Romanian goalkeeper Branescu. Mame will remain at Lanciano until the Summer.
The vodka has got to me, and with the enticing aromas of my rissotto drifting out of the kitchen I must bring this to a swift conclusion. I am happy to oblige any of you who desire information of any of the above or below...so please...feel free to demand answers.
I can't help myself. Before we head into bullet points and anemic mentions of transfers, let me bring you just the one Daniel focus upon a player we remain, attempting to grab.
…the African Dane who recently attended a trial with us and impressed mightily. Pione Sisto, 18, played as a right midfielder in Denmark for FC Midtjylland. Expect to see him signed up soonish.
Okay...all that remains are the nuts and bolts.
Still trying to grab-
Adamonis Marius: 1997 | POR | Panevėžio futbolo akademija
Alampasu Dele: 1996 | POR | Football College Academy
Berisha Valmir: 1996 | ATT | Halmstads BK
Brown Erik: 1997 | DIF | Sporting Kansas City
Celia Raffaele: 1999 | DIF | Catanzaro
Coppolaro Mauro: 1997 | DIF | Reggina
Correa Angel: 1995 | ATT | San Lorenzo
Curovic Adnan: 1998 | DIF | Lyngby
Danilo: 1996 | CEN | Vasco da Gama
Driussi Sebastian: 1996 | ATT | River Plate
Gori Stefano: 1996 | POR | Brescia
Guglielmi Daniele: 1998 | DIF | Barletta
Kempf Marc-Oliver: 1995 | DIF | Eintracht Francoforte
Lucas Silva: 1996 | DIF | San Paolo
Muric Robert: 1996 | ATT | Dinamo Zagabria
Piccinini Federico:1996 | ATT | Reggiana
Sisto Pione : 1995 | CEN | Midjylland
Stolarski Pawel: 1996 | DIF | Wisla Cracovia
Zivkovic Richairo: 1996 | ATT | Groningen
Alessandria Christian: 2000 | CEN | Bra (prestito)
Andrei Tiziano: 1998 | DIF | Carrarese (definitivo)
Cais Davide: 1994 | ATT | Atalanta (comproprietà)
Cevallos José Enrìquez: 1995 | CEN | LDU Quito (riscatto)
Fiorillo Vincenzo: 1990 | POR | Sampdoria (comproprietà)
Giannarelli Andrea: 1996 | CEN | Venezia (fine prestito)
Goldaniga Edoardo: 1993 | DIF | Palermo (comproprietà)
Granatiero Lorenzo: 1997 | DIF | Manfredonia (prestito con diritto di riscatto)
Grinzato Umberto: 1999 | DIF | Pro Vercelli (fine prestito)
Kabashi Elvis: 1994 | CEN | Pescara (fine prestito)
Kastanos Grigoris: 1998 | ATT | Enosis Neon Paralimni (definitivo)
Moncini Gabriele: 1996 | ATT | Cesena (fine prestito)
Pellizzari Stefano: 1997 | DIF | Cesena (comproprietà)
Prandoni Gianluca: 1997 | DIF | Catania (fine prestito)
Severin Yoan: 1997 | DIF | Evian Thonon-Gaillard (prestito)
Thiam Mame: 1992 | ATT | Virtus Lanciano (comproprietà)
Sold or sent out-
Belfasti Nazzareno: 1993 | DIF | Gubbio | Prestito (è in comproprietà con la Pro Vercelli)
Beltrame Stefano: 1993 | ATT | Sampdoria | Comproprietà
Bertinetti Francesco:1995 | DIF | Torino | Prestito
Bianco Raffaele: 1987 | CEN | Carpi | Definitivo
Bouy Ouasim: 1993 | CEN | Amburgo | Prestito
Branescu Laurentiu: 1994 | POR | Virtus Lanciano | Comproprietà
Di Benedetto Marco: 1995 | ATT | Feralpi Salò | Prestito
Elezaj Entonjo: 1996 | POR | Lanciano | Prestito
Emmanuello Simone: 1994 | CEN | Atalanta | Comproprietà (va in prestito alla Pro Vercelli)
Guiducci Niccolò: 1996 | DIF | Chieti | Prestito
Hromada Jakub: 1996 | CEN | Genoa | Prestito
Lanini Eric: 1994 | ATT | Palermo | Comproprietà (rimane in prestito al Prato)
Libertazzi Alberto: 1992 | ATT | Aquila Calcio| Prestito (è in comproprietà con la Pro Vercelli)
Liviero Matteo: 1993 | DIF | Juve Stabia | Prestito
Marin Vlad: 1995 | DIF | Roma | Prestito
Montrucchio Andrea: 1994 | POR | Bra | Prestito
Nocchi Timothy: 1990 | POR | Padova | Prestito
Padovan Stefano: 1994 | ATT | Vicenza | Prestito
Pira Vincenzo: 1996 | CEN | Torino | Prestito (svincolato)
Pontone Lorenzo: 1998 | DIF | Torino | Definitivo (svincolato)
Untersee Joel: 1994 | DIF | FC Vaduz | Prestito
(Prestito – Loan, Compoprieta – Co owned, Definitivo – SOLD, prestito con diritto di riscatto – Loaned with the option to buy)
Well, that seems to conclude this avalanche of an update. Expect an in-depth report upon the adventures of our primavera soon. For now, I will mention that Zanchetta and former fans favourite Grosso are struggling in their debut season as custodians of our U19 squad. There are positive signs, namely in our ability to create and score, but defensively, as demonstrated by our recent capitulation to Spezia (Spezia 4 - 4 Juventus), we are wretched. Our 5-0 aggregate semi-final coppa italia loss - over two legs - against our good friends in Florence, has only served to confirm growing unease over the management.
It is not all bad news though, for Donis and Marzouk are enjoying fine seasons in the final third and Pol Garcia in the rear-guard continues to cement his reputation as a centre-back of serious potential. The worry is that some of our more promising players from last season have actually lost form and direction this term.
In the league, we remain in third spot, 6 points off top with a game in hand. Plenty of time left to steady the ship.
A change in results is certainly expected, which we must hope appears this coming Tuesday, when the primavera squad take to the field against Verona, for their first match of the Viareggio tournament. Due to our former successes in the tournament (8 victories, 3 times runner-up), we have avoided the group stage and been thrust straight into the quarter-finals.
- Verona 2:2 Juventus - Last-gasp Verona take two points away from the Bianconeri
- Juventus 2 - Hellas Verona 2: Initial reaction and random observations
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Hellas Verona
- Juventus vs. Hellas Verona Preview: Round 23 (Skidoo) — Highway to Hell-as
- Fabio Quagliarella and the writing being on the wall