The timing of this is just ... /chef’s kiss/.
At some point this summer, young Udinese left back Destiny Udogie and the man who played at the opposite wing at Udinese last season, Nahuel Molina. For much of the summer, Udinese maintained that it would be one of them that would be sold, but certainly not a case that both of them would be on the market.
As we know, Molina has traded in black and white stripes for whatever the hell Atlético Madrid is calling their main kit this season. And while Ugodie, arguably one of the best young Italian players going these days, will be playing in Serie A next season it will come with a giant caveat.
That’s because Tottenham have agreed in full to a deal to sign the 19-year-old Udogie for what could be as much as €25 million, according to reports out of Italy on Monday. We know this because when Fabrizio Romano gives it the “here we go” treatment, then you know the deal is happening. And while Udogie is going to spending the 2022-23 season back with Udinese while on loan, this is just another instance of Juventus very much neglecting arguably the biggest hole that is currently on the roster.
It’s going to be even worse when Udogie does something against Juventus.
Oh, and it adds a little salt in the wound that Udogie’s manager come this time of year in 2023 will be Juve’s former boss. And the guy who helped close the deal for Udogie is the guy who essentially helped put Juventus in this position with a roster that consists of fullbacks that are ... less than stellar.
So much for both Molina and Udogie not being sold in the same summer, huh?
This is the situation that Juventus finds itself in mostly from its own doing. We knew that Juventus had interest in Udogie. We’ve written about it on this here site not so long ago. Hell, we wrote about Juventus having interest in both Udogie and Molina, although one seemed to potentially progress more than the other before Atlético Madrid swooped in.
Either way, Juventus ended up with neither of them, seeing two very reasonable and not crazy overpriced fullback options head out. And not just head out, but go to clubs outside of Serie A. (Yeah, yeah. Udogie’s on loan at Udinese for another season, whatever. The fact still remains.)
Instead of making an invest for the future — and the present with the way things are looking — Juventus decided to not address the left back position once again and instead give us another signal that they’re going to rely on Alex Sandro to play a substantial amount of minutes this season. If you’re thinking to yourself that Juve did sign a left back, that’s true after Andrea Cambiasso arrived from Genoa earlier this summer. But it was less than 24 hours later that Cambiasso was sent out on loan to Bologna and Juve was again relying on Sandro and Luca Pellegrini.
Now, maybe the expected addition of Filip Kostic means Max Allegri could play a little more 3-5-2 (or something along those lines) this season, but it very much feels like a four-man backline is going to be the base formation again this season. Because of that, it’s either Sandro, Pellegrini or even Mattia De Sciglio vying for playing time out left instead of somebody with a huge amount of upside like Udogie. That doesn’t sound all that promising, and just another example of how Juventus has not addressed what has become a bigger and bigger issue over the last three or four years.