With the addition of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey, Juventus has a surplus of central midfielders. This is not breaking news knowing when the two “free” transfers signed their respective deals nearly seven weeks ago now. Yet, as we sit here a little over a week before the Serie A summer transfer window closes, the midfield still has as many bodies as it does the day Rabiot and Ramsey arrived.
And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be changing.
With increased speculation that Sami Khedira isn’t going anywhere this summer, the same is being said about fellow 30-and-over midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who reportedly wants to see out the final season of his Juventus contract, according to a report out of L’Equipe on Friday morning. Matuidi, 32, has most recently been linked with a return to France to play for Monaco, but has reportedly turned down the chance to play for the Ligue 1 side because of his desire to remain with Juventus this season.
And so it goes.
While we don’t know how exactly Maurizio Sarri will construct his midfield once the season truly gets going after the opening couple weeks before the first international break, it’s safe to say that Juve’s two Bosman arrivals are going to be considered two of the biggest contributors. Miralem Pjanic is a lock to start more often than not when he’s fit. That means Matuidi — who is far from a midfielder that is built for Sarri’s style of play — is going to be fighting for playing time. We don’t know how Sarri is planning on rotating his squad when the schedule truly gets busy and Juve’s playing three games within the span of eight or nine days. But what we do know is Sarri’s history of rotating, which doesn’t exactly bode well for the players who are on the fringe of the starting lineup or are clear-cut reserves.
Who knows what Matuidi’s playing would have been if he were to have accepted a move back to France with Monao — or a return to Paris Saint-Germain, which has also been rumored in recent weeks — but one thing is for certain: Juventus’ midfield is awfully crowded these days, and the fact that Matuidi (and Khedira) is sticking around isn’t exactly going to help solve any kind of playing time uncertainty or get some money off the books.