As always I come through with some good stuff, I've compiled the tentative list of all of our youngsters who are Juve owned or sold this season and where they are playing next year. Today I will focus on the Serie A deals and tomorrow the rest of the bunch. A few things changed this year instead of our usual breeding ground in Siena, this year we've opened up shop at another Tuscan club, Empoli. Traditionaly a Milan loan spot, the tuscan club was very impressive last year and earned a UEFA cup spot. And finaly a very smart move was made by Juve management to loan out a flock of important Juve starlets to Empoli instead of Siena. My look at it is that there is Serie A, Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup, there is going to be plenty of playing time to go around at Empoli, no knock on Siena but not many of our loaned out players panned out for Juventus there hopefully this change of scenery and European competition can realy whip our kids into shape. Along with Empoli in Serie A this season you can find baby bianconeri at Genoa and once again at Siena. Also there was a major overhaul in the youth ranks, and most of the Primavera squad has been loaned out all over the map. The most saddening news is the final departure from Torino of my beloved Davide Chiumiento, you will be missed 'Dede' tear up the f'in swiss league we love you.
Before I get to the individuals I will start with the Juve colonies....
- Like mentioned earlier, lots of playing time to go around not to mention addition of fellow prospect Ignazio Abate, Empoli will boast one of the most promising young teams in Serie A. The Juve youngsters will mix well with Andrea Raggi, Lino Marzoratti & Nicola Pozzi to form a somewhat of an under 21 team which will be exciting to follow. Im thrilled with this new venture as Volpato and Giovinco are two of the most important players we have and Empoli is a great place to mold young stars.
Sebastian Giovinco (FW) One of the youngest of the bunch will need to work hard, but I can see a big year for the little magician to continue on his fabulous end of 07 with Juve.
Rej Volpato (FW) - Along with Pozzi and Saudati should get plenty of opportunities in the striker role, already has Serie A experience from 2 years ago at Siena.
Claudio Marchisio (MF) - Needs to stay healthy in order to keep a starting role, but will have big shoes to fill in the absence of Almiron and Matteini.
Felice Piccolo (DF) - The least of the bunch I expect much from, injury prone which makes him more of an organization player, if he gets a chance and can show some skills he may latch on with another club.
Genoa - Dont realy like what the team has done this offseason but also dont realy care since im not a Genoa fan. But the problem is one of my favorites Matteo "the Lion of Asti" Paro has to play there this season so I wish him the best and hopefully he continues to grow as a player. This season at Genoa you will see a modern marvel of pure stupidity and probably heavy drug use, the pairing of rejects/rebels Giuseppe Sculli and Marco Borriello. They also loaned one of the brightest talents Fernando Forestieri to Siena, but have not done enough on the transfer market for the midfield. Bringing in Konko and Cesare Bovo will be a decent defense, but the loss of Criscito is big.
Matteo Paro (MF)- I love this kid, a real midfield workhorse with great offensive qualities. Unfortunately he will be paired with retread Omar Milanetto in a lacklustre midfield. As long as he continues to grow as a player I will be content, that why we can look to retaining his services soon. I was dissapointed though I would have much rather seen him go to Empoli or Siena but he chose not to.
Andrea Masiello (DF) - The youngster will play his 2nd straight season at Genoa looking to pick up the slack left by Criscito. Andrea has promise but needs the playing time to show it.
Abdoulay Konko (DF)- A good showing at Siena last year when healthy will look to continue his breakthrough, unfortunately he was sold this season by Juve so his contract is no longer under our control
Giuseppe Sculli (FW)- im almost 100% he was also sold to Genoa outright, good riddance. This troubled misfit will reunite with his equally troubled under-21 reject Marco Borriello this season. This tandem once shined for the azzurrini and were up and comers with Milan and Juventus, but scandal after scandal and loan after loan these two have rotted for a while. Who knows they may prove me wrong, but I could care less I gave up on the duo years ago, they should try the MLS next. Should be an interesting season for these headcases as they battle with Di Vaio, Papa Waigo, Adailton and the rest of the crew at Genoa for attacking roles.
Siena An intriguing offseason for the Tuscan side to say the least. Despite the loss of not 1, not 2, not3, but 4 important defenders who played well last season, Konko (Genoa), Gastaldello (Sampdoria), Molinaro (Juventus), and Rinaudo (Palermo) the Bianconeri have done some good work reinforcing their needs. First off scoring Leandro Grimi from Milan on loan is a gamble due to his youth and lack of experience but can pay off big time if he adapts. Alessandro Lucarelli had a big year at Reggina and will now try to prove he can be consistant and reward Siena with another big season filling in for Rinaudo. But the most exciting addition is youngster Fernando Forestieri. Forestieri is absolutely nasty if you've never heard of him be prepared for probably the most promising Italian youngster (up there if not better then Rossi, Lupoli, Rosina, Pazzini, & Giovinco). This kid is flat out amazing, he scored his first, first team goal at the age of 17 last season with Genoa and will look for playing time with a healthy Maccarone and experienced Chiesa.
Alessandro Bettega (MF) - Not sure what to say? The primavera star followed in his fathers footsteps and left the club this summer will try his hand with Siena
Paolo De Ceglie (MF) - Good showing with Juve in B last year, looks to refine his skills with a decent supporting midfield group especialy if Codrea can improve upon last season.
Andrea Rossi (DF) - 2nd straight year with Siena will have more opportunities and hopefuly a prominent role.
Douglas Ricardo Packer (MF) - Not sure what the plans are for the young brazilian, but either way he needs more playing time.
Obviously the big offseason news with the Blucerchiati is the loss of Quagliarella and having to fill that void with Vincenzo Montella and Andrea "What Happened to me" Caracciolo. Defensively they have improved adding Campagnaro coming from Piacenza, Gastaldello from Siena/Juve, and Lucchini from Empoli to accompany rising youngster Alessandro Bastrini, Christian Maggio (one of my favorites), and a much improved Pietro Accardi. If they can work together Samp may have one of the most solid young defences next season, definitely a UEFA Cup contender. Only issues are the lack of offense, the signing of Reto Zeigler is huge as he can score as a midfielder but Salvatore Foti realy needs to step up and show why he was a prized prospect. I dont think Samp is done this transfer term so we'll see what they can come up with.
Antonio Mirante- (GK) If he can become the first choice keeper he can realy raise his value for a sale, but this kid has talent, needs the time to show it. A year under the guidance of Buffon will hopefully reap benefits for Sampdoria.
Daniele Gastaldello- (DF) After 2 impressive campaigns at Siena, the defender is no longer under our control after Siena bought him from Juve this summer. He finaly will get a shot at a bigger club and wish him all of the best.
Just to add on, Sebastian Giovinco and Rej Volpato both scored for Empoli in a friendly this weekend against Carrarese. I wish Empoli all the best in their campaign this season, without Almiron and Matteini they have big shoes to fill but with their squad they can do it and they should be a great story in Serie A and the UEFA Cup as the city and the fans are truly getting behind their boys.