Juventus went into preseason training with an extra goalkeeper on the roster. That issue has now been dealt with.
There had been numerous reports that Mattia Perin would again be loaned to Genoa, and on Friday that was made official. Interestingly, it’s a dry loan, even though Perin still has an extra year on his Juventus contract that would have made the option to buy a possibility.
Perin has been in limbo since he joined Juve from the Grifone in the summer of 2018 for a €14.2 million transfer fee. He had been one of Italy’s biggest up-and-coming goalkeeping talents for years, despite having to recover from a pair of ACL tears. But the move didn’t bring his career to the level he had hoped. Gianluigi Buffon had just left on his one-year sojourn to France, but the Bianconeri already had Wojciech Szczesny, who had proven himself worthy of the starting spot when Buffon was out several months with a leg injury. Perin ostensibly arrived to compete with him for the starting keeper’s job, but if there ever was a competition for the spot it was a token one. Szczesny was the clear No. 1 from the off, and Perin only played nine games on the year. He didn’t even play in the Coppa Italia, despite the club’s traditional practice of starting the No. 2 keeper in Coppa games.
Perin ended that campaign on the shelf with a shoulder injury that caused him to miss much of the first part of last season as well. By that time Buffon had returned to serve as Szczesny’s backup, leaving Perin without much of a place in the squad. He was loaned back to Genoa in the January transfer window and played their last 21 games of the year with their No. 1 shirt on his back. Now he heads back to the Marassi again.
It’s always been a little puzzling to me that Perin would chose to move to Juventus in the first place. Perhaps Szczesny wasn’t entrenched in the starting position when he joined, but he certainly had a leg-up, whereas other teams in Serie A—particularly Roma, who had just sold Alisson to Liverpool—could have guaranteed him the starting gloves and, had he stayed healthy, could have kept him in the conversation when it comes to the national team. Now, he’s tottering around on loans to low-table clubs, and the future of his career is far from certain.
He’s still relatively young for a goalkeeper at 27, so he’s got time to right the ship, and he’s hoping another stint at his boyhood club will get him there.