Throughout the past couple of months, the talk throughout the Italian papers regarding young Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has been about who wants to sign him during the January transfer window rather than how he's playing on the field. That's mainly due to the fact that through the first three months of the season, Rugani has barely played at all. He has all of one appearance so far this season, a brief cameo in Juventus' 2-0 win over Sevilla in the Champions League at the end of September.
That's it. Nothing more. And it's like it could get any less than how it is right now.
Of course, the continued speculation and the "Will he stay or will he go?" game regarding Rugani's future won't be ending anytime soon because that's just how the Italian press works. But when it came to speaking about Rugani after Sunday night's 3-0 win over Palermo, this is what Juventus manager Max Allegri had to say about the young defender and how he fits into the club's future:
"He will stay at Juventus for the next ten years, as he represents our future. At the moment he is in competition with the three defenders of the Italian national team, so that it's difficult to give him a chance, but his moment will arrive. I like the way he's training, he's improving a lot."
This is not the first time that Allegri has been extremely complimentary of the 21-year-old Italian despite his obvious lack of playing time to begin the season. Little to no criticism has been delivered Rugani's direction, and it's not like he's come out barking about his inactivity on game days through the first half of the 2015-16 campaign — which isn't much of a surprise knowing how calm and composed the young man is.
But every time there's a potential game where playing Rugani makes sense arrives, Allegri has other ideas. While it is true that playing behind the likes of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini isn't the easiest thing to do when it comes to trying to find playing time, you'd think by now he'd have at least one Serie A appearance.
Maybe that day arrives before the holiday break gets here — Juventus do close out the calendar year against second-to-last-placed Carpi on Dec. 20 — or maybe we're set to wait even longer before Rugani gets his first career start in bianconero. Whatever is the case, it's nice to see the man who decides when Rugani plays thinks extremely highly of him even though he is, you know, not actually playing in games this season.