Alex Meret is 19 years old. (Although not for much longer since he turns 20 on March 22.) He’s a goalkeeper. He’s having a very good season on loan with S.P.A.L. down in Serie B. So good in fact that he just got called up to the Italian national team. Things are going pretty good for Meret these days.
And this is not even including the fact that he’s been linked with a move to Juventus during the 2017 summer transfer window.
Yes, Meret has been linked with a move to Juventus over the last couple of weeks as the club continues its search for the guy to potential replace the legendary Gianluigi Buffon. Going off that, Udinese have reportedly let it be known their price that it will take to sign Meret this summer, according to il Giornale on Tuesday morning. That would be a price tag of €5 million to add the young goalkeeper — who is also reportedly being tracked by Liverpool and Napoli — to Juventus’ roster.
As is pretty much common logic, il Giornale also mentions that Gigi Donnarumma would be in the mix as Buffon’s replacement, starting its report by mentioning that both teenage goalkeepers’ ages added together is still a year short of how old Buffon is. It’s fitting considering they’re the three goalkeepers called up by Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura to the latest Azzurri squad.
When you take the two and put them side by side, obviously Donnarumma is the star and looking more and more like a once-in-a-generation kind of keeper. But Meret isn’t a slouch by any means, and his play with S.P.A.L. this season is proof of that. Plus, he’s clearly the more obtainable talent since he’s still developing as he is about to hit his 20th birthday.
When it comes to signing a young, up and coming goalkeeper for a relatively reasonable price, Juventus have gone down this kind of road before. Obviously Nicola Leali hasn’t developed into what a lot of us hoped he would as he goes around on loan deal after loan deal every season to try and get playing time, but it’s an example of how Juventus has history with signing young goalkeepers with a vision of them potentially taking over for the legendary Buffon one day.
Maybe Meret is that guy. Maybe he isn’t. Maybe it’s Donnarumma after Super Agent Mino gets him a fancy contract in Turin. Maybe it’s Neto or somebody else we don’t know about yet. That’s just something that we’re going to have to wait and see what happens.