It doesn’t take long to figure out that Juventus’ social media team is working with a limited playbook right now. I say that because sometimes when some of your top choices for the best training pictures of the day after Paulo Dybala and Weston McKennie come from players who didn’t feature all that much last season or weren’t even on the team (hello, Daniele Rugani!), you things are slim pickens.
Now, as much as I’m sure young Nicolo Fagioli has liked seeing his photos included in the various social media posts over the last few days since preseason training began for Juventus, there’s something a little important to come out of numbers lacking as a result of the Euros and Copa America.
You see, Fagioli, the latest in a long line of youngsters we have hoped would be the next primavera player to make an impact on the senior squad following Claudio Marchisio, is getting quite the chance to impress as he waits for his teammates to arrive from their extended holidays. And when it comes to Fagioli trying to impress, he’s going to be attempting to do so with a manager that has spoken about him quite highly during his first stint with the club.
With so many of the regulars out and new Chief Football Officer Federico Cherbuini still very much trying to address Juventus’ need for a midfielder like, say, Manuel Locatelli, Fagioli is going to get a chance to show what he’s all about. It’s something that Tuttosport (via VecchiaSignora.com) looked at the other as Max Allegri got another round of double sessions going at Continassa.
Just think about it for a second. Outside of McKennie taking part in preseason training, this is what Juve’s other midfielders are up to right now:
- Rodrigo Bentancur — post-Copa America vacation
- Aaron Ramsey — post-Euro 2020 vacation
- Adrien Rabiot — post-Euro 2020 vacation
- Arthur — just underwent surgery and will miss the next three months
Translation: This is Fagioli’s chance to impress Allegri with all of the other midfielders outside of McKennie not available because they’re either on a beach somewhere or just a couple of days removed from major surgery.
Of course, a couple of weeks without much other name recognition around you at training is not going to be the be-all, end-all of Fagioli’s Juventus career. But for a player that Allegri clearly saw a future in when Fagioli was a wee teenager working his way up to the primavera squad, the chance to work directly with his new manager is something that’s going to be quite valuable.
And, for all we know, could be something that gives him some sort of role during the first half of the season.
That’s mainly due to the fact that we know Arthur will be out for the next three months, and at least the last two of those months will come when actual games are happening. There is a distinct possibility that the length of Arthur’s injury will mean that including him in the squad list for the Champions League would be ill-advised. And knowing what Juve’s finances currently are and how the club needed a €400 million influx of capital to cover the losses that are projected over the next two years as a result of the pandemic, it’s not like bringing in a short-term replacement for Arthur would be as easy as it might be in previous summers.
So, here we have a player who is clearly talented in Fagioli, already on the roster and clearly ready for some sort of role on a Serie A roster, that won’t cost you anything more than what his annual salary already is. If Allegri has as much faith in the 20-year-old Italian like we hear he does, then maybe there’s some advocating on an Arthur replacement to be an in-house solution rather than spending money on the transfer market.
Either way, Fagioli is going to get plenty of time to work with Allegri before the bigger names start rolling in to Continassa following their post-Euro 2020 vacations. That means more time for Allegri to potentially focus on trying to craft a role for Fagioli within the squad. And it also means more chances, despite the limited numbers currently on hand, to try and force the issue to get into Juventus’ midfield rotation.
You know, to have an actual role within the first team this season under Allegri. Not what we saw last season when he played in a small number of games despite being called up for a good chunk of the season only to be superglued to the bench much more often than not.
We might not be using the phrase “The baby Fagioli enchants” like Tuttosport did in a headline for a gallery of Monday’s training, but if he is “enchanting” then it must mean there are good things in store for the kid come the rest of preseason training and potentially into the start of the 2021-22 campaign.