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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus sign Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara for €15 million

Pescara Calcio v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

As much as we’ve seen Juventus spend big on players like Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic in recent transfer windows, Beppe Marotta’s goal has always been to try and acquire the best Italian players the country has to offer.

Consider the latest one officially acquired.

Juventus have made its expected move for 22-year-old Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara official on Thursday evening, announcing via its various platforms that he has signed a contract with the club until 2021. In turn, Juventus has not only sent €15 million back in Atalanta’s direction, but also Caladara himself, as the Italian international will spend the next season and a half on loan in Bergamo — something that was also expected to be a piece to the deal with Juve having quite a talented group of defenders already present in Turin.

More, courtesy of Juventus’ official website:

Juventus Football Club can today confirm that Mattia Caldara has agreed a permanent switch from Atalanta until 30 June 2021 for a fee of €15 million.

This sum, payable in four financial years, may increase by a further €6 million upon achieving certain conditions over the duration of the contract.

At the same time, Juventus has reached an agreement with Atalanta for the free loan until 30 June 2018 of the 22-year-old defender and a bonus of maximum €4 million will be paid to the Nerazzurri on the condition he achieves certain sports performances.

I gotta say, the boy certainly does look quite distinguished holding up that jersey. Then again, I’m sure we would probably be saying the same thing about a lot of Italian signings, too, so maybe we’re just a little biased here.

In a season where Atalanta’s resurgence and rise up the table has been led by a core of talented young players who are all attracting the attention of big clubs in both Italy and around Europe, Caldara has been one of the best. His performances in the center of Atalanta’s three-man backline have been crucial for Gian Piero Gasperini’s success this season as well as the club forming one of the better defenses in Serie A this season.

As Juve’s website described him, “his calm and composure on the ball are the fact he has lost possession just 74 times this term – almost half as often as the average for Serie A defenders. ... Caldara is also capable of launching attacks from deep thanks to his neat distribution skills – he has hit 118 forward balls and completed 266 passes this season – and he’s also shown a clinical eye in front of goal, converting three of his four shots on target.”

When you think of Juventus defenders over recent years — most notably a certain Leonardo Bonucci who was signed around the same age for around the same amount of money — it’s not just their ability to defend that has made them so good and so valuable. So when you think about Caldara and what he brings to the table, he certainly fits the bill in terms of what Juventus is looking for in a defender. Plus there’s that whole being a young and talented Italian player, which never seems to hurt.