With Merih Demiral being ruled out for the remainder of the season on Monday, the next step in the process was easy to figure out. Would Juventus suddenly find itself in the market for a central defender just when it looked like there really was no reason to acquire one? Or, despite the fact the schedule is about to get busy again, would Juve’s front office play with fire and roll with three center backs prior to Giorgio Chiellini’s much-anticipated return from his own ACL injury?
One of the most logical options behind Door No. 1 and bringing somebody in seems to not be an option even before it might have actually been an option.
According to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti, Juventus will keep 2019 summer signing Cristian Romero on loan at Genoa rather than recalling him early to fill the void left by Demiral’s season-ending ACL injury. In the time since Demiral’s injury, there have not been any Romero-related contact between Juventus and Genoa, Agresti states. He adds that trust in Daniele Rugani and Chiellini’s return is why Romero is staying right where he is at Genoa, a club where he will be playing pretty much every match he is available for rather than sporadically if he returned to Turin this month.
There’s also this aspect as to why Romero will likely stay with Genoa until the summertime, according to Agresti: Juventus would have to pay €5 million to Genoa if they were to recall him early and end his season-long loan deal after all of 19 Serie A fixtures.
Romero, one of the three central defenders Juventus spent a healthy amount of money on this past summer, has been on the radar of Juve supporters for the last 12 months or so ever since the club’s interest in the young Argentine was apparent. He was thought to possibly be signed during last year’s January transfer window, with the deal ultimately going down in July, a deal that cost Juventus €26 million.
Since signing with Juventus but staying right where he had been with Genoa for another season, the 21-year-old Argentine has appeared in 17 league games so far this year. While Genoa has struggled for a large portion of the season and currently sit in one of the three relegation spots, Romero has played rather well. He may be one of the most-disciplined players in Serie A with eight yellow cards to his name, but the simple fact that he’s getting to play every weekend is looking like the right decision for a player who obviously still needs some developmental time.
And it seems like, at least for the second half of the 2019-20 season, Genoa is where Romero will continue to play. While it might be the right decision for the long run, it looks as though Juventus might still have a major decision to make when it comes to its depth chart now that they’ve nearly got as many center backs dealing with ACL injuries as they do healthy bodies at the same position.