Even as Juventus entered the 2018-19 season as one of the top contenders for the Champions League title, there were concerns about certain areas of the field. Obviously, the biggest one was that of the midfield quality, but also the general age of the squad knowing some of its most important parts were in their 30s with room to spare.
As we’ve come to find out with recent injuries to Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci as well as the transfer request and drama surrounding Medhi Benatia’s departure, the depth in the center of Juve’s currently-struggling defense is becoming a massive red flag.
In one way or another, that could very well be addressed come the summer.
According to a report on Monday morning by the Corriere di Torino (via VecchiaSignora.com), Juventus Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici has made the addition of quality — and young — depth in the center of Juve’s defense a priority during the summer transfer window. Some of the names we’ve heard before, others are relatively new to the transfer rumor mill that involves Juventus.
As if the past week or two hasn’t taught us that Juventus’ defense is both in need of a little refreshing over the summer and the drop off between the two starters and the rest of the group can’t be as significant as it may currently appear.
Let’s just go ahead and throw the names that the Corriere di Torino throws out there...
- Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)
- Cristian Romero (Genoa)
- Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid)
- Alessio Romagnoli (Milan)
- Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
Since the Corriere di Torino basically describes any kind of negotiations with Napoli for Koulibaly as virtually impossible at the moment, I guess we can consider him the longest of long shots amongst this quintet of central defenders.
I think it’s safe to say that de Ligt and Romero have been the two names that have been linked the most with Juventus over the last couple of months. Romero, a 20-year-old Argentine, is having a very good season for Samp, which up until recently was consistently playing as one of the top defenses in Serie A. Then there’s de Ligt, who’s certainly going to be one of the most sought after players on the transfer market this summer — and Ajax’s management team has to know it.
Romero would obviously be the more affordable option of the two, but de Ligt is the one that would be the potential world-class defender that Juve is going to need in the post-Chiellini/Bonucci days.
Basically, as much as we know that Juventus’ midfield is in need of some serious injections of youth and class, the same can be said about the squad’s defensive unit. Along the same lines of Gigi Buffon, as much as it sucks we all know that somebody like Chiellini can’t play forever.