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Juventus 2022-23 Season Ratings: The Goalkeepers

We kick off our annual season ratings with the same position group that we always do — right between the sticks.

Sporting CP v Juventus: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Europa League Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

The 2022-23 season saw a lot of bad things happen on the field when it came to Juventus.

The goalkeeper position was not one of those bad things.

A season that saw a whole lot of wild inconsistencies from pretty much every position group doesn’t include the likes of Wojciech Szczesny and Mattia Perin, the guys who very much are two of the best at their position in Serie A. They are, as deemed by our very own Hunter Sharpless, the best goalkeeper room in all the land, with somebody like Carlo Pinsoglio there to be the goofy best friend to everybody no matter how little of the field he knows he will see each season.

We say that because during the recently completed season, there was little to no drop off between Szczesny and Perin, while we all knew that the most exuberant person on the bench was Pinsoglio, Juve’s Turin-born third-choice keeper. The guy who has been the only one to wear the No. 1 jersey since Gigi Buffon headed off for a year in Paris and the guy backing him up again this season showed their worth even though there was so much weirdness happening in front of them outside of the penalty area.

You add all of that together and you have a position group that really had few issues.

Instead of asking “Does Juventus have a serious problem at goalkeeper?” like we had to do at the end of the 2020-21 season and the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign, there wasn’t any real debate about who should be starting. Or, maybe there wasn’t any talk of Szczesny being replaced because he was simply struggling in goal and Perin appeared to be a potentially more stable option. Instead, the discourse was mostly about having two really good keepers and maybe, just maybe, one deserved more playing time because he was playing so well.

In the end, though, one of Juve’s biggest strengths proved to be the guys who get to use their hands for a living. This was a season of in which fretting over the goalkeeper position rarely was a thing — and that, considering what else happened with this team, was quite nice to see happen.

Because, let’s be honest, having two goalkeepers who are pretty much locked in from the opening minute of the season to the last and not have any sort of serious drop-off between the two, that’s something that not a whole lot of clubs who can boast about.

SS Lazio v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Wojciech Szczesny — 7.5

The end of the 2020-21 season was a roller coaster ride for Szczesny, who had very big and very noticeable errors that led to Juventus dropping points and costing them wins. He carried those mistakes into the beginning weeks of the 2021-22 season as well — which, if you were very much Team Szczesny, wasn’t helping you in your backing of Juve’s No. 1. Combine those two very tough stretches for a goalkeeper who had previously been pretty damn consistent and it made us entertain the question, again, as to whether he was both the short- and long-term answer in goal for Juventus.

Those questions did not repeat themselves during the 2022-23 season.

Szczesny finished with the second-best save percentage in Serie A at 75.3%. He finished with the third-most total of clean sheets with 14. The advanced metrics suggest that Szczesny performed just about as well as was expected of him on the shots that he did stop and those that were scored.

It was very much the kind of season that, with so much changing around him — the formation, the defenders, the performance level of certain players — you could probably understand if there was a dip in form or struggles like we’ve seen him go through in previous years. But that didn’t happen.

Szczesny was, without a doubt, one of Juve’s top performers this season. And with how all over the place the defense could be in front of him and their now-trademark lapses in judgement still very much there, Szczesny was just as reliable as he has been during his Juventus career.

Don’t forget, he also had one of the single-most terrifying moments of the season when he momentarily experienced an irregular heartbeat in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals against Sporting in Turin back in mid-April. Thankfully, tests cleared him just a short time later and he ended up missing all of one game before retaking his place in the starting lineup.

With his 33rd birthday having arrived a couple of months ago, who knows how much longer Szczesny can perform at this kind of level going forward. We know that, like Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro before him, an appearance clause has reportedly kicked in and extended his contract through the 2024-25 season. And knowing that he is still very much a quality keeper, there’s bound to be a few rumors about him potentially leaving this summer if he could fetch a good amount of money as Juve tries to face a new reality with no Champions League football.

No matter what his future holds, the 2022-23 season was a pretty darn good one for the man known as Tek. Considering how things were at times last season and the one before that, a very uneventful season (sans everything against Sporting) feels like a pretty good deal.

Juventus FC v FC Internazionale - Coppa Italia Semi Final Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Mattia Perin — 7.5

Nails. This dude was absolute nails.

And the most impressive thing is that he was consistent as can be despite the fact that his playing time was anything but consistent. That’s the thing with being a backup keeper — as much as Perin was the guy for the Coppa Italia, he didn’t always know when his next appearance was going to be. Then, all of the sudden, you’re thrown into action right before halftime of a big European quarterfinal and you’re making a crucial double save to keep the result from drastically swinging right before the final whistle.

That’s the life of a backup goalkeeper.

And Perin is damn good at what he does.

Here’s the kicker: Perin’s save percentage in league play was a whopping 85% — which, if he had qualified with enough minutes played, would have been the top mark in Serie A with plenty of room to spare over Lazio’s Ivan Provadel. While it didn’t come in the same amount of appearance as in previous seasons when he was a regular starter, that 85% save percentage was the highest of Perin’s career, surpassing his previous best of 77.2% in the season before he originally signed with Juventus.

That shows you just how well he played across the entire season.

His heroics against Sporting — especially in the manner of which he had to suddenly be thrust into action right before halftime — will likely be the most memorable part of his season. But the simple truth of the matter is that he was really good for the entirety of the 2022-23 season — which, unlike last year when he had some tough moments, is very much a big step forward for somebody who’s not getting first billing minutes-wise.

And again, it’s even the more impressive when you consider his playing time — while more than last season the whole in all competitions — was nothing close to frequent.

We say it so many times, but it needs to be said again: This dude is Juventus’ backup goalkeeper when he could very well be the starter for a whole bunch of teams in Serie A. He is very much a luxury piece on a roster that doesn’t have many of them. And it was Perin’s performances this season that proved that — again.

UEFA Champions League”Paris Saint-Germain v Juventus FC” Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Carlo Pinsoglio — s/v

Another year, another “senza volta” for Pinso.

That’s what you want from your third-choice goalkeeper, folks. That’s a good thing.

But this season saw one thing change from his previous five back at the club he grew up at before spending a whole lot of time out on loan: he didn’t appear in a game.

That’s right. We didn’t get our annual 30-45 minutes worth of Pinsoglio on the field in the final game of the season. A travesty, I know. File it under as another complaint amongst the many that Max Allegri racked up during the 2022-23 campaign.

There is, however, a reason why Pinsoglio signed a contract extension through 2025 before the season came to an end, though. There is something that any kind of minutes played and number of saves can’t measure. There’s a reason why he is still here when a third-choice goalkeeper position at a big club like Juventus could become a revolving door or handed off to the latest keeper to work his way through the youth ranks or come back from being on loan.

Pinsoglio, at 33 years old, is now one of Juve’s elder statesmen. He may not always act like a dude that age — just look at how he acts with some of his teammates and you’d think they were a college of buddies in college — but he is very much a locker room leader on this team. He’s a Juventino to the core. He’s seen some of the biggest names pass through the club’s doors and be leaders themselves. He gets it — plain and simple.

That’s something you might not expect from somebody who logged a single minute this season, but that’s the truth. Even though he has played, at most, one time a season over the last few years, his still very much is an important piece to this team — and we love him for it.