For as much as we love this little old club called Juventus, sometimes the decisions they make have us doing nothing but scratching our heads. Some are notable, others just seem to go by without very many people really giving a damn. This is how Juventus has operated over the last couple of years for reasons we may never fully understand.
The latest head-scratching situation is the one regarding Fabio Quagliarella.
By now, the news of Quagliarella not being included in Juventus' 23-man Europa League squad isn't a secret. It's out there in the open for everybody to see and talk about. He's the one omission in an otherwise predictable list full of pretty good players. He's the one player that a lot of us expected to be on the list, but didn't end up being there.
Why did Juventus leave Quagliarella off the squad list? That's a pretty good question. It's a question that a lot of us who live hundreds of thousands of miles away are wondering what the exact answer is. There hasn't been a distinct reason as to why he was left off the list. Just a typical kind of "some decisions are tough" kind of quote from Beppe Marotta earlier in the week.
That means, all we're left to do is wonder. And wonder. And wonder some more.
Writing on the wall? Yep, the writing is on the wall.
The thing is, though: Why Quagliarella? Why now?
Quagliarella has been a loyal servant despite his playing time taking a significant hit. He has come up big in European games the past two years. He has been a spark off the bench when Juventus needed one. All of the good things you would look for in a reserve striker at a club that has big ambitions, right? That sounds about right.
There's just one problem, though. Quagliarella not being not being called up to the Europa League squad is just another sign of what the writing on the wall is telling us — his future is somewhere else, not in Turin.
Quagliarella isn't first choice like he was when he first arrived at Juventus in the pre-Antonio Conte days. Hell, by the looks of the Europa League squad, Quagliarella isn't even second choice anymore. Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez's are undoubtedly Conte's No. 1 tandem. That's about as easy to figure out and declare as Andrea Pirlo having an amazing beard and beautiful hair. Mirko Vucinic is a Conte favorite through and through, and Sebastian Giovinco occasionally gets his time off the bench if Il Mister sees fitting.
That means two players, Quagliarella and the recently-signed Italian hipster Dani Osvaldo. The logic says Osvaldo is a vice-Llorente simply because he's the only other legitimate prima punta on the roster. So where does that leave Quagliarella?
I think we know where this is going.
Who knows where Quagliarella will end up this summer. But if being left off the Europa League squad tells us anything, it's that Juventus are planning for life after Quags. And based on the fact that his agent, Beppe Bozzo, has come out talking about how Quagliarella deserves more respect. (Which, by the way, he does.)
Sometimes, though, breaking up isn't easy. And while things — including recovering from the flu — aren't totally done and settled, it's not as good as everything was before that dang Europa League squad was released.
Thanks a lot, Europa League. You're killin' me.
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