Simone Zaza signing with Juventus was another one of the anticipated moves on the transfer market this summer. It wasn't a matter of if the striker's move from Sassuolo to Juve was going to happen, it was simply a matter of when and for how much he would cost the four-time Serie A champions.
Well, consider Tuesday, July 7, as the day that Zaza officially became a Juventus player.
Juventus continued their re-working of their attack with the acquisition of Zaza, forking over €18 million for the recently-turned 24-year-old Italian striker. Here's the short-and-sweet version of the press release Juventus put out regarding the latest signing this summer:
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with U.S. Sassuolo Calcio S.r.l. for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Simone Zaza has been reached. The consideration for the acquisition is €18 million payable in 3 financial years.
Juventus and the player have signed a 5-year contract of employment.
When Sassuolo bought Zaza outright last summer after he was co-owned between the two clubs, many assumed that Juventus had a buyback clause even though there was no official word of one. It's essentially the same kind of deal that Sassuolo and Juventus did this summer when the former bought Domenico Berardi outright last month — a way for there to be a cash influx yet it keeps Juve as the first option for the player to go the next summer.
Turns out, it was a few million euros more than the €15 million some originally thought, but the fact still remains.
Zaza, who became a regular in the Italian national team this past season, finished second on the Sassuolo team behind Berardi with 11 goals in 31 games (29 starts) during the 2014-15 campaign. However, he went scoreless for nearly three months last season, which just so happened to be around the time when talk of him joining Juventus seriously picked up steam. Coincidence? Maybe, but in the first half o the season he was quite a productive striker when he scored the vast majority of his goals.
With Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Álvaro Morata around, there won't be the kind of pressure to be the team's leading option for goals like was the case as Sassuolo. If you were to set the over/under on games Zaza starts next season, what would it be? With those three strikers presumably in front of him in the pecking order, there's going to be a lot of competition for minutes come the beginning of the 2015-16 season in August.