Seeing Leonardo Bonucci holding up an AC Milan shirt doesn’t look right. It doesn’t sit right. And you can be sure even typing these words doesn’t feel right. For all the speculation that surrounded the fiery Italian defender between this summer and last, his departure was never considered a possibility by the Juve faithful. The English media was mocked constantly for attempting to lure Bonucci’s head in the direction of the Premier League where spending giants such as Chelsea and Manchester City awaited with open arms.
But those moves never came to fruition.
Bonucci remained in the black and white jersey, still playing those delicious long passes over the top of opposing defences and shutting out their forward lines as well.
Zero thought was given to the numerous rumours with Bonucci himself seemingly letting his football do the talking.
Yet, here we are now.
Leo has left to join the revolution in Milan, while the Bianconeri are without a leader on the pitch, and in the dressing room. It’s a massive blow to a side who headed into the transfer window keen to make their attack as formidable as their defence. While Douglas Costa has signed from Bayern Munich, and Federico Bernadeschi seems set to join him at some point this summer, the once unbreakable back five of Juve has been torn apart in a matter of weeks.
Dani Alves rescinded his contract with the club to allow for a move to Paris Saint- Germain, Bonucci has just completed his shock move to AC Milan and reports continue to surface regarding the uncertain future of Alex Sandro. At this point, you’d almost expect the Brazilian international to depart with the way the summer has gone so far for Juventus. All three players played a vital role in the success of last year, and replacing any one of them was going to be difficult. Having to replace all three is asking for too much.
Of course, Sandro very much remains a Juve player. But for how long is the question, because at this rate nothing would come as a shock. And if Chelsea start waving over €60 million in front of the board, it would be hard for Beppe Marotta to say no. How appropriate it would be should a scenario occur to sum up the last few weeks for the club.
That period has been weird, to say the least. Nobody imagined a team who were so close to making history in early June would undergo so many changes by July. Bonucci and Alves are the only two departures but it’s what the former’s recent sale symbolizes that scares the supporters; anything can happen in this transfer window. Trying to figure out the plan that Max Allegri and his employers have is almost frightening, as nobody would have imagined selling one of the world’s best defenders was a part of the blueprint.
Allegri and Bonucci had their differences this past year, but both are passionate characters and a clash is to be expected when two similar personalities are in the same room. It’s a stretch to say that it was then both parties decided to move on, yet it’s still a possibility that wound never healed. Bonucci was dropped for a Champions League match, which is a big statement to make from any coach. It was his way of showing his player that his public outbursts towards his coach wouldn’t stand at the club, but maybe the message didn’t reach.
Who knows what exactly caused this unexpected divorce. Perhaps we’ll find out more in the coming weeks and months. For now, however, the atmosphere hanging over Turin is an uncertain one, as this summer has taking a turn no-one expected.