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BWRAO Mailbag: Return of the Bag

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First mailbag of the summer, let’s cook.

Juventus v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A

The summer break is in full force and with no Juventus games on the horizon all we have to entertain ourselves is … actually a lot! The Women’s World Cup is in full swing and giving us a lot of exciting moments. The U-21 European Championships is also going on, showcasing some of the most exciting new players on the old continent. Copa America has been kind of a let down so far, but the knockouts are around the corner, and that is always entertaining. Plus, don’t forget the Gold Cup!

No? No takers for the Gold Cup? Mexico blew out Cuba! The U.S. is kind of OK ... sometimes!

My point is we can’t complain about football availability. It has hardly been an empty cupboard. Still no Juventus football is no Juventus football and as entertaining as some of the other options have been, they never scratch that itch fully. Kind of feeling like a Coke and getting a Pepsi, sure it’s similar but not quite the same,

So, to fill that Juventus size hole in our lives, for at least a bit, let’s get to the questions! Not quite Coke, but we get what we get.

How do you feel about Juve’s rumors so far, like the Pogba one which I don’t think and I hope it doesn’t happen. Pogba is a capable player but I think his attitude and personality is going to be a problem. And what do you think of Dybala exit rumors? – Nael

I agree that it probably won’t happen. While Manchester United is not in the strongest negotiating position and Pogba is probably on the outs at his boyhood club, in a dream like scenario what are we looking at here in terms of transfer fee? 80-100 million range? Again, at best.

This was already a shaky proposition before all the transfer rumors completely lost their goddamn mind. Matthijs De Ligt is now apparently coming, Adrien Rabiot is a lock, even Gianluigi Buffon now? Apparently? There is simply no way all of those rumors are true and while they are far from being officially official as we say around these parts, the least likely in my opinion is Pogba.

I do disagree with you in the attitude department and personality comments. Outside of clashing with Jose Mourinho, and who hasn’t at this point, he has hardly been an on or off the field issue for Manchester United. His performance in Manchester United wasn’t all that it was promised to be and with a Europa League victory a couple years ago his highest accomplishment, it’s fair to say there was not a lot of silverware to be lifted with the Red Devils.

(I’m sure that World Cup trophy made up for it, though.)

He is flashy, has weird haircuts, is extremely online and helped inflict the dab upon the world. But, an attitude problem? I think that’s going too far. If for whatever reason/miracle we managed to bring him back, I sure would be thrilled.

As far as Dybala, we are going to get into more detail about La Joya’s future with Juventus and with new manager Maurizio Sarri, next week. So, stay tuned for that.

We’ve already seen a domestic dominance; would you trade two Scudetti for a CL trophy? - Qwerty

That’s tough. It’s like asking which one of your children do you love the most, they are all so unique and precious in their own way.

I know the impulse is saying yes, especially because it’s been — checks notes — TWENTY-THREE YEARS since our last Champions League trophy. And because Juventus has the not that honorable record of most losses on Champions League finals AND because the last few eliminations have ranged from frustrating (Ajax) to hugely disappointing (Berlin, Evra’s blunder in the Bayern Munich game), to horrifying (Cardiff) to legally considered torture under the Geneva Convention (Don’t even pretend you don’t know which game I’m talking about).

But I think we discount how massive the current Scudetto run is, getting eight titles in a run is unheard of, quite literally actually, this has never been done before. Would I break that historic streak for one Champions League trophy? I don’t think I would, especially for two reasons:

  1. The streak started right at the beginning of the decade, to be able to say that Juventus was the Italian Champion in 2010 and 2020 with no interruptions in-between is huge. Assuming that the Sarri experiment doesn’t go awfully awry or that Antonio Conte performs a miracle with Inter, it very much looks like that will be the case. A straight decade of hegemony is something that has never and might never be matched.
  2. With that already being established, is one really worth it? Chelsea won the one, Porto won the one, I don’t think they are remembered as all-time, era defining squads. Juventus will be.

So, no, I don’t make that trade. Ask me again when Juve gets horribly eliminated from next year’s Champions League in an even worse way, though. I don’t know how they are going to up themselves, but they will.

What do you think of selling João Cancelo? And if or when it does happen would you like to see Mattia de Sciglio take a shot at a starting role? We saw some nice flashes from him this past season I thought. - Nael

If I had received this question during the December break, the mere thought of selling Joao Cancelo would have been fighting words, on sight type of stuff. Right now, though? I dunno, if the price is right, sure, I guess.

There’s no denying first-half-of-the-season Cancelo was one of the most, if not the most impactful player for Juventus. He was a terror bombing up and down the right side of the field and gave Juventus an offensive boost from that side that had been missing for years. He really did look like Juventus had found a keeper, type of guy that you can build around.

The second half of the season went … not as good! Some knocks and bruises kept him from the lineup at times and when he played, he didn’t look like the same player, the confident attacks were not quite there, the crosses lost their precision and that shaky defense started showing up a whole heck of a lot more often. In general, the second half of the season for the Bianconeri was a constant letdown and Cancelo was a key part of that.

And as far as Mattia, look, he seems like a solid dude. Good guy, good player to have due to his adaptability and ability to play multiple positions, absolutely a guy that can at times look like a top right back but I wouldn’t feel super confident going into the season with him as your A1 option as right back. Would you?

The actual answer? Sell Cancelo, if and only if the price is right and those funds are needed for a blockbuster move, speaking of which.

Wait is the De Ligt signing actually happening? Is this for real?! – Manu C

I cheated a bit here, I was going to answer a different question to finish up the mailbag, a pretty good question that will be featured in an upcoming mailbag, as a matter of fact. That’s when the De Ligt rumors started to get a LOT of traction and the plan had to change.

This is exactly the type of move that would warrant selling off a dude like Cancelo and boy, it would be worth it. Maybe not an exact replacement but bringing a guy like De Ligt solidifies the defense immediately, so much so that you could actually go to war with De Sciglio and not miss a beat.

The details are still not confirmed so it’s not like it’s a done deal. But with media from all over the world reporting it as an almost certainty, we could be very close to not only a massive signing, but a foundation piece coming on for next year.

Keep the questions coming, until the next mailbag!

The Mailbag is open. Send your questions at BWRAOmailbag@gmail.com or write them in the comments, to get featured.