Atalanta having a good youth system is to the surprise of nobody who has followed calcio for a decent amount of time. Serie A is filled with former Atalanta youth products who have risen up and gotten their start in Bergamo before moving on and becoming regulars in Italy’s top flight.
A lot of Atalanta’s surprising success this season is courtesy of their core — midfielders Franck Kessie and Roberto Gagliardini as well as defender Mattia Caldara. They’ve caught the eye of many, especially Kessie and Caldara, who has arguably been one of the best defenders in Serie A despite his young age.
A young defender. Who is Italian. Who is already quite good. Sounds like the kind of player Juventus would be interested in signing, don’t you think?
Well, according to a report from Sky Sport Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio on Thursday, Juventus are indeed interested in signing the 22-year-old Caldara, who has been an absolute revelation this season for Atalanta manager Giam Piero Gasperini. And not only try and sign him, but try to lock up his services during the January transfer as they try to fight off interest from Roma, Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan at the same time.
Juventus being linked to Caldara shouldn’t be all that surprising, I guess. The BBC trio isn’t getting any younger, with Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli both in their mid-30s and Leonardo Bonucci turning 30 at the beginning of May. Medhi Benatia, while on loan, isn’t any younger at 29 years old. That means the only Juventus central defender who will enter the 2017-18 season not in his 30s will be Daniele Rugani, who won’t be 23 years old until the end of July.
So yes, trying to sign a young defender like Caldara makes a whole lot of sense.
Who knows if the attempt to sign Caldara will actually go down during the January transfer window or be put forward in the summer, but it’s a logical move for a player who is certainly on an upward trajectory. Caldara is already good, and he’s the latest in a slew of young Italian players to make a damn good first impression in Serie A.