In the past, I’ve greeted every single Claudio Marchisio transfer rumor with the same kind of reaction. It’s a laugh out of greet amusement, a very quick close of the tab on Google Chrome and then I move on with whatever I was doing before I got sidetracked.
This season, however, has been different.
Marchisio is so far down on the depth chart that it’s become quite the sight whenever he’s actually in the starting lineup. And maybe, just maybe, because of all that’s happened this season that seeing rumors about Marchisio leaving might not be as crazy as they might have been 12 or 18 months ago.
Yet, as another Marchisio-to-MLS rumor is probably right around the corner, Tuttosport — yeah, I know, just stick with me here — has come out with a little something that involves Marchisio and Juve director general Beppe Marotta sitting down for a cup of coffee to hash things out. (It’s what the headline says!!!)
Marchisio will meet with Beppe Marotta at the end of the season, Claudio is willing to continue until the end of his contract (2020), he would like to finish his career at Juve. (Tuttosport)— Khaled Al Nouss (@khaledalnouss1) May 3, 2018
Marchisio is on the wrong side of 30 having celebrated his 32nd birthday back in mid-January. He’s had major knee surgery in the not-so-distant past, which may or may not still be a lingering reason as to why he doesn’t play much these days. (It could very well be.) He has appeared in a grand total of 17 games in all competitions this season. He’s played a full 90 minutes in a match three times more than I’ve played from opening whistle to final whistle this season.
But here’s why Marchisio is still important and why him staying is crucial:
We can say that he’s still capable of being the player he has been in the past, and that’s probably true. Maybe not all the time, but I wouldn’t rule out a good portion of the time as long as he’s handled properly. Despite all of that, Marchisio is one of the few clear-cut leaders that this Juventus team will have if he does indeed stay beyond this season. Gigi Buffon is expected to retire come the end of the season. Stephan Lichtsteiner is almost certainly on his way out to a club that’s still TBD. Giorgio Chiellini is about to enter the final few years of his career and it’s not like Andrea Barzagli is in line for a five-year contract extension come this summer.
Basically, there’s still a major need for Marchisio — both on the field and in the locker room.
He may not be the deputy to Miralem Pjanic these days. Rodrigo Bentancur seems to have that role pretty much nailed down as his at this point. But Juventus need Marchisio and, judging by how long he’s been wearing bianconero, the feeling is most likely quite mutual.