All throughout the summer, Juventus manager Max Allegri has been asking the club to sign a backup for Dusan Vlahovic. There might not be enough space on this website to go back through all of the rumors over the last 2 1⁄2 months, but let’s just say it’s lengthy. And it’s a process that has come down to the final days of the transfer window, with two main names emerging as targets for Allegri’s Juventus.
Door No. 1 had a talented Dutchman.
Door No. 2 had a former Napoli man who has been linked with Juventus for literal years.
After Door No. 1 slammed shut due to higher salary demands than we thought, Juventus had no choice than to go over to Door No. 2 and welcome him in with open arms.
Juventus announced Friday the signing of Olympique Marseille striker Arkadiusz Milik on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy come next summer. Milik comes in just days after it looks like Juve were going to end up signing Dutch striker Memphis Depay following his long-awaited contract termination at Barcelona. But, because of Depay’s reported late raise in salary demands, Juventus decided to go down the Milik road and call in the 28-year-old Polish international to be the man to back up Vlahovic. (And hopefully just that.)
The official details of the deal, courtesy of the Juventus press office:
Turin, 26 August 2022 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that an agreement with Olympique de Marseille for the temporary acquisition, until 30 June 2023, of the registration rights of the player Arkadiusz Krystian Milik has been finalized for a consideration of € 0.8 million, with the addition of ancillary costs of € 0.1 million, which might be increased up to a maximum of € 0.8 million upon achievement of specific sporting performance objectives.
The agreement further entails the right for Juventus to definitively acquire the player’s registration rights for an agreed consideration of € 7.0 million, payable in three years, which might be increased up to a maximum of € 2.0 million upon achievement of further sporting performance objectives over the duration of the employment contract with the player.
Milik’s arrival, in a nutshell, is not one that comes with anywhere close of the fanfare that would have come Juve’s way if Memphis would have arrived at this juncture of the transfer window. That comes in part because of his injury history dating all the way back to his days at Napoli, but it also comes with the fact that his numbers weren’t all that great last season. In 23 appearances (15 starts) in Ligue 1 last season, Milik scored seven goals but had a goals-per-90 rate of 0.44, easily one of the lowest of his career. And it’s not like the advanced stats are all that better, with Milik recording an expected goals figure of 0.48 per 90 last season.
If Milik is arriving at Juventus solely as a backup to Vlahovic, then ... OK, that’s fine. But if Milik ends up being somebody that Allegri pairs with Vlahovic — and let’s fact it, it could happen because it’s just the thing Max would do — then who knows what is going to happen with Juve’s attack. It’s already enough of a guessing game from week to week what kind of service Vlahovic will be able to get from the rest of the squad.
Let’s just hope that Milik can bring something to the table because it’s not like Juve has paid a whole lot of money to bring him in on loan this season. Because of that, he can provide some sort of value for a very low transfer fee. We just don’t know if he will be able to do so.