In the final game before Juventus shut things down for three months as a result of Italy’s initial COVID-19 surge in March 2020, Juventus beat Inter Milan in an empty Allianz Stadium. In that game, we saw one of Maurizio Sarri’s best team performances, Paulo Dybala score a game-clinching goal and, maybe one of the most notable things of them all, Rodrigo Bentancur absolutely boss the midfield that was without Miralem Pjanic.
From that point up until now, Bentancur replicating that kind of form has been hard to come by.
Nearly two full years since that impressive performance against Juve’s most-hated rivals, Bentancur is now officially playing for another team. After a season and a half full of struggles and stalled development, Bentancur was officially sold to Tottenham on the final day of the January transfer window, closing the doors on a career with the Bianconeri that started brightly but now sees him leave for a solid yet unspectacular €19 million transfer fee. As we know, a good portion of that will go to Boca Juniors, a sell-on clause that has been attached to Bentancur ever since he first made his way over from South America in 2017. The deal with Tottenham also includes €6 million in add-ons.
Here are the official details of the deal, courtesy of Juventus’ website:
Turin, 31 January 2022 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that an agreement with Tottenham Hotspur for the definitive disposal of the registration rights of the player Rodrigo Bentancur Colmán has been reached for a consideration of € 19 million payable in three financial years, which might be increased up to a maximum of € 6 million upon achievement of specific sportive performance objectives over the duration of the employment contract with the player.
The transaction generates a positive economic effect of approximately € 4 million, already net of solidarity contribution, additional costs and the amount due to Boca Juniors as a result of the disposal of the player’s registration rights.
Bentancur, now 24, was part of a midfield group that has been under the microscope the last couple of years as Juve’s supporting cast failed to provide a lot of support for some of the squad’s star-studded players up front. Bentancur, coming off that 2019-20 season under Sarri in which he was the best performer in said midfield, saw the progress he made Juve’s chain-smoking former manager was in Turin come to a screeching halt under Andrea Pirlo. His 2020-21 season was highlight by high-profile mistakes like what happened in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 against Porto, with the strong play he showed the season before seemingly gone up in smoke.
A lot like the other Juventus player that will be joining him at Tottenham, Dejan Kulusevski, Bentancur will head to London looking to right the ship after some tough moments the last couple of years. It’s not surprise to see former Juventus Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici shopping in Italy with hopes of improving Tottenham’s roster this month. And it also no surprise to see him come to Juventus to try and bring in players like Bentancur and Kulusevski that he is very, very familiar with and can have confidence in right away.
For all the frustration that Bentancur has supplied over the last season and a half, there is still talent to tap into, with the kind of manager who can very much do just that with young players. Remember, Bentancur is still just 24 years old and, as has been noted on this website of late, had been playing rather well the last couple of appearances he made in a Juventus jersey.
So long and good luck, my Large Adult Son. I hope you find London to be nice and Antonio Conte unlocks the talents you do have.