Two summers ago, Marko Pjaca was the young kid with plenty of talent eager to make the jump up in quality from Dinamo Zagreb to Juventus. Two years later and not many appearances in between, Pjaca is looking to get his career back on track — and it will happen somewhere other than Turin.
Side note: Injuries are stupid.
The 23-year-old Croatian winger who Juventus originally signed for €23 million in the summer of 2016 has now headed out on a season-long loan to Fiorentina, the club announced on Tuesday afternoon. Fiorentina has a buy option for Pjaca — who underwent his medical exams earlier in the day — that could push the total cost of the deal to €22 million.
The details of the deal, courtesy of Juventus’ official website:
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with ACF Fiorentina S.p.A. for the loan, until 30 June 2019, of the registration rights of the player Marko Pjaca has been finalized for a consideration of € 2 million to be paid in the 2018/2019 financial year.
The agreement also provides ACF Fiorentina S.p.A. the option right, to be exercised at the end of the 2018/2019 football season, for the definitive acquisition of the player at a price of € 20 million to be paid in three financial years.
And thus, the trimming of Juventus’ roster continues.
Pjaca was the winger signed by Beppe Marotta before the full-on shift to sign wingers that meant Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi arrived in Turin last summer. Pjaca got the classic Max Allegri treatment when it comes to new signings — not much playing time at first, only with sporadic starts and second-half cameos when a game either needed a jolt of energy or a regular starter came off before the final whistle.
Everything changed for Pjaca in mid-February 2017 when it looked like he could be in for more playing time with Allegri going to more of a winger-friendly 4-2-3-1 formation. That’s when Pjaca suffered a knee injury that would seriously alter his career while on international duty with Croatia. Instead of working his way into more playing time, he was rehabbing one of the most serious knee injuries there is.
It’s been a little over a year and a half since Pjaca suffered that injury that has seen so many careers derailed in the past. He spent the second half of the 2017-18 season on loan at Schalke, but consistent playing time never really materialized there, either. Now he heads to Florence in hopes of doing what he obviously wanted to achieve in a Juventus jersey after moving from Zagreb to Turin.
Best of luck, Marko, and please don’t score against Juventus this season.