Juventus announced a contract extension Friday. But it wasn’t the one that has a negotiation phase — or lack of one — that’s grabbing a whole lot of front page headlines across the biggest Italian sports newspapers.
Juventus and young defender Radu Dragusin have agreed to a contract extension through the 2024-25 season, the club announced on its official website. The 19-year-old Romanian who looks far from an actual 19-year-old has been a mainstay on Juve’s senior team roster this season despite having not appear in a senior team game in months. Dragusin, who has recently gotten some much-needed game action with the Under-23 side, had previously been rumored to be on the move to the Bundesliga if his contract situation was not resolved.
The contract is no longer an issue, and now he’s ready to either become a first team depth piece next season or go out on loan to gain some valuable experience before he turns 20.
The official words from Juventus’ website:
It’s an adventure that began in the summer of 2018. Radu Dragusin, born in 2002, was only 16 when Juve included him in the team. After one season, he immediately made the leap from Under 17 to Coach Zauli’s Primavera.
Then came the definitive leap to the world of professionals – the Under 23 team – where he came into his own, before making the biggest step of all in his career: his debut in the First Team. Today, Radu Dragusin put his signature on a future that will be painted in black and white, after renewing his contract until 30 June 2025.
With Dragusin’s contract now settled, what the next step will be very interesting to see. Juventus obviously think highly enough of him to have him on the senior squad rather than with the Under-23 team. Some of that has had to be out of need due to other injuries, sure, but he hasn’t jumped back and forth between Serie A and Serie C as much as we might have thought in the early months of the season to get playing time.
But, at his age, playing time for developmental purposes is going to be vital. And if he’s truly a player Juventus think can be a useful player going forward in the next two or three years, then getting him consistent playing time will be key. If he goes out on loan next season might depend more the players who are currently ahead of him on the depth chart still being around come the end of the summer transfer window. There’s certainly no guarantee that all five of those central defenders will be Juventus players come July, August or September.
Or, maybe with a contract extension now finalized, there’s always the chance he can become a bargaining chip for a bigger name come the summertime. Remember, these are tough financial times, folks.