Juventus: Who's Next After Pirlo? Predicting the Next Big Star for Le Zebre
Juventus is returning to prominence in World football after its great title-winning 2011/12 Serie A season. The Turin club has always been one of the biggest and most important in World Football but since the Calciopoli scandal they have not been quite as critical.
While long-time club legends and Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon have played their part in helping the club get back to where it is, the introduction of Andrea Pirlo last year is what really propelled Juventus forward. The impact Pirlo has had on Juventus cannot be understated and the club will be in need of a replacement in the future who can have a similar impact, though they won't necessarily play the same position.
Players like Claudio Marchisio and Sebastian Giovinco aren't in the conversation here as they are already stars in their own right. We at Bleacher Report are taking a look at three younger options in the club's setup.
The trio of Paul Pogba, Ouasim Bouy and Ciro Immobile are the players in question here and, interestingly enough, two of the three are midfielders.
Let's take a look at each prospect for the club.
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Sir Alex Ferguson certainly had reason to be disappointed when the young French midfielder left the club this summer. Pogba has a variety of skills that would have made him quite useful for United this season and beyond, but took his talents to the Bianconeri.
The young midfielder will be learning from the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio, two players he publicly admires as reported by Goal.com and who will certainly improve his game.
Pogba made a few appearances for United last season but, in this article on ESPN Soccernet, he made it known that wasn't enough to convince him to stay.
He's been an unused substitute on the bench for Juventus this season and could see some decent playing time as the season progresses.
Pogba has the skills to be a box-to-box midfielder like Marchisio or Arturo Vidal but could become a replacement for Andrea Pirlo as well.
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With his skills, Bouy could be a great fit to replace Andrea Pirlo whereas Paul Pogba has decent pace and power which would make him a better fit to replace the likes of Arturo Vidal in Juventus' midfield. Bouy lacks both those attributes but his vision and passing ability, both mentioned in the Coerts article, make him a viable candidate for the role.
While his aptitude for scoring goals is also mentioned and could make him a candidate for a role further forward, Bouy himself has made it clear, as reported by Goal.com, that he can operate in front of the defense and that Pirlo is a player he is looking to learn from.
He joined Brescia on-loan this season and that will hopefully prove to be a great experience for the 19-year old.
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Immobile is the only Italian of the three and also the oldest as well. He has much more experience in the Italian game than his two colleagues and that will go a long way to helping his future with the club.
His situation is a bit different from the two other candidates as he is not owned outright by Juventus and his registration rights are shared with Genoa. Go to Juventus.com for more details on the arrangement.
Immobile had a wonderful loan spell with Serie B side Pescara last season, notching 28 goals in 37 appearances while helping his side gain promotion to the Serie A. He's considered one of Goal.com's possible breakout out stars of the season and he has gotten off to a great start with Genoa.
He has one goal and one assist in his two Serie A games with Genoa.
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These three players are all quite talented and depending on how Juventus continues to grow, and how they use their individual talents, they could be major players for the "Old Lady" in the future.
If folks are looking for a player more likely to replicate Pirlo in playing style and impact then Ouasim Bouy could be the way to go. Ciro Immobile is a forward and Paul Pogba has the makings of a box-to-box midfielder.
If he develops well, Ouasim Bouy could be the ideal replacement for Pirlo and he won't have too much competition in the squad for that position.
Pogba has to deal with the likes of Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Kwadwo Asamoah for a spot in midfield and things won't be easy for Ciro Immobile either.
Should Immobile have a great season with Genoa he could end up at the club full-time and Juventus is likely to continue looking for a star striker to complete the squad.
That possible signing would hamper his chances of getting into Juventus' first-team even more.
The future looks good for all three players and hopefully they shall all be good players for the club. If the coaching staff at Juventus intends for Ouasim Bouy to be a replacement for Andrea Pirlo he could jump ahead of the rest.