When it comes to Juventus’ activity on the 2022 transfer market, things are still very much at the early stage. While we all await the potential return of a beloved Frenchman, there are clear signs that Juve’s front office is starting to work in other areas that need addressing — both in terms of players leaving and those to replace them.
According to Giovanni Albanese of La Gazzetta dello Sport and SportItalia, Juventus have opened contacts with young Udinese fullback/wingback Destiny Udogie. The 19-year-old Italian, who will see his loan deal at Udinese become permanent move from Hellas Verona in a matter of weeks, is the latest name in a handful of options that Juventus is reportedly looking at the fill the void left by the departure of Alex Sandro or Luca Pellegrini this summer, with Albanese saying it is likely — at least at the moment — the latter who will leave during the upcoming transfer window.
Juventus’ interest in Udogie isn’t anything new, according to reports. Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti first reported that Juventus were interested in signing Udogie back in ... 2019.
La #Juventus si muove per #Udogie: il laterale classe 2002 è il preferito per sostituire #Pellegrini (in partenza). Contatti avviati con l'#Udinese, ci sono anche club stranieri sulle tracce del giocatore. #calciomercato— Giovanni Albanese (@GiovaAlbanese) May 25, 2022
Udogie has also reportedly attracted interest in Serie A from Inter Milan and Lazio, with Albanese saying that there are also clubs outside of Italy that are interested in the teenager who was born to Nigerian parents. Udinese have, as you can probably understand, chosen to take up the €4 million option to buy Udogie outright after he spent the last season on loan from Hellas, a club he had been at since 2017.
And what an impressive 2021-22 season it was.
Playing more as a wingback than an outright fullback like he would likely do at Juventus, Udogie scored five goals and added four assists in nearly 2,500 minutes this season. While there are other measurables that leave a little to be desired, to have that kind of offensive production at his age and relative inexperience in Italy’s top flight is quite the impressive stat line after playing in just a handful of games for Hellas Verona last season.
I mentioned those goals he scored, right? Well, he’s capable of something like this:
Destiny Udogie with one of the best Serie A goals you will see all season. pic.twitter.com/6UfmVZA1hg— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 22, 2022
Ah, that would be a pretty stark change from what Juventus has gotten out of the left flank over the last couple of seasons. Nothing against Alex Sandro and Luca Pellegrini, but I think it’s safe to say neither of the current options on the left side of the Juve defense are capable of those kinds of blistering runs forward that could produce that kind of end result.