For the second consecutive season in a post-Stephan Lichtsteiner world, Juventus will have a brand new starting right back that just so happens to speak Portuguese.
Last year it was Joao Cancelo. Now. it’s Danilo.
And it just so happens that the former is now going to play for the team the latter used to receive a paycheck from for the last couple of years.
Both Juventus and Manchester City announced on Wednesday the swap deal of right backs. In one direction goes a player Juve spent €42 million on 12 months ago in Joao Cancelo, who will be the latest addition to Man City’s plethora of attack-minded fullbacks. Coming back the other way to Turin is Danilo — who had basically become surplus goods with all of the talent that Pep Guardiola has amassed at the fullback position since arriving in Manchester — and €28 million worth of transfer fees.
The details of the deal, courtesy of Juventus’ official website:
Turin, 7 August 2019 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that these agreements have been finalized with Manchester City Football Club:
• definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Danilo Luiz da Silva for a consideration of € 37 million payable in three financial years. Juventus and the player have signed a 5-year contract of employment until 30 June 2024;
• definitive disposal of the registration rights of the player João Pedro Cavaco Cancelo for a consideration of € 65 million to be paid in three financial years. The economic effect is positive for about € 28.6 million, net of solidarity contribution and auxiliary expenses.
Cancelo, once viewed as quite the quality long-term replacement for Lichtsteiner after the Swiss fullback decided to leave Juventus following the completion of the 2017=18 season, had a up-and-down tenure in Turin, no matter how short it was. He was easily one of Juve’s best players in the first four months of the 2018-19 season, making offensive contributions wherever you looked and, at least a good portion of the time, showing signs of defensive improvements.
But as the season went on, Cancelo’s form dipped and the offensive contributions weren’t as plentiful, his defensive deficiencies started to become more and more noticeable. How much one had to do with the other, but it was clear that the Cancelo from September, October and November, wasn’t the player we saw in March and April.
A coach like Maurizio Sarri might have been the one that could rekindle that offensive spark that Cancelo showed during the early weeks of his Juve career. Instead, he’s now heading off to Manchester City where he will work with one of the best managers in the game today.
In return, Juventus has received a right back in Danilo who appeared in just 11 league games (9 starts) for the Premier League champions. He had clearly fallen down on the depth chart on a team that is full of fullback talent — and that’s even before they add Cancelo to the mix.
Juventus, once a team that never really was part of the player exchange kind of dealings, has now made two swap deals in the past two months. The first one involved a couple of young Italian left backs. This one involved a pair of right backs. How each play out still remain to be seen, but the one thing they have in common is that Juve got money back as part of the deal.