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Juventus: Why the Bianconeri Are Stunting Luca Marrone's Development

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 7, 2013

Juventus: Why the Bianconeri Are Stunting Luca Marrone's Development

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    Juventus’ 22-year-old midfielder-turned-defender Luca Marrone needs to decide if he wants to stay with the Bianconeri, because his development is being hindered.

    Antonio Conte has the luxury of calling on a class act like Luca at intermittent intervals, though that’s not to the benefit of Marrone’s career. 

    This article will outline why the Bianconeri are stunting the Italian youngster’s growth.

Vice-Pirlo?

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    When Marco Verratti and Paul Pogba were still on the open market, Juventus supporters were speculating about MVP 2.0 with Luca Marrone, Verratti and Pogba, to back up arguably the best midfield triumvirate in Europe—the original MVP: Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo.

    With Marco saying bonjour to Paris Saint-Germain, Luca became a viable option as vice-Pirlo, which was always a bit odd since Marrone is not a deep-lying playmaker.

    He didn't grab his chance when Antonio Conte started him as a regista against AC Milan (per Football Italia): "Luca Marrone will play in the Pirlo role. I want to see how he gets on. He represents the present and the future. I want to see his growth."

    Marrone did a disappearing act as he floated about and did basically nothing—ah, the phenomenon of social loafing. 

    He should have been subbed off at half-time, instead Conte gritted his teeth for another 32 minutes before hooking the apprentice for the master (Pirlo).

    Aaron Giambattista was spot on with his analysis but slightly lenient when rating Luca, giving him a 5.5/10 (from Juventiknows.com): 

    Young Luca has struggled to find space on the starting XI sheet, and he struggled to find space in midfield today. No one can replace Pirlo, of course, but Marrone does have great playmaking ability. He definitely didn’t play poorly, his running and tactical movement was much appreciated in midfield, but I was disappointed he wasn’t able to leave his mark on the game with any playmaking.

    A 3/10 would have been more appropriate, and the three points would have been for 1) showing up 2) taking up space 3) not doing a Felipe Melo.

    Maybe Marrone was just having a bad day. Or maybe he wasn't 100 percent fit.

    You just have to wonder because, it doesn't make sense for him to wait, wait and wait his turn. Then, when he eventually gets the perfect opportunity in midfield versus Milan, he shows no passion, fight or the willingness to extend himself.

    I can't comment on his display against Lazio because I didn't watch it, but David Tenenbaum wasn't sold on Luca as a deep-lying playmaker (via Juvefc.com):

    Marrone’s time as a regista against Milan and Lazio (the second time around) was not so impressive.

    Frankly it was bizarre going from Pirlo, who almost never loses possession or makes a bad pass, to Marrone, who was having a number of passes intercepted.

    It was not a good audition for the vice-Pirlo role.

Luca Marrone Struggling to Get Regular Games at CB

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    Here's Luca Marrone's competition:

     

    Andrea Barzagli

    Barzagli is a world-class centre-back and second only to Dante in terms of commanding a back line.

    AB is tactically flawless, positions himself expertly, makes unexpected dashes to link up play and is so calm under pressure.

    To think this guy was once the most overrated defender in Serie A, and an overpaid and overpriced flop in the Bundesliga, only to turn it around at Juventus.

    He gave a 10/10 performance in the 2-0 win over Celtic.

    Tip of the hat to Beppe Marotta for punting on Barzagli.

     

    Giorgio Chiellini

    Andrea is a reactive CB whereas Giorgio is a proactive CB, who has made 44 tackles and intercepted 49 passes in 15 Serie A games this season.

    The vigorous way he plays the position has beaten his body up, and it could cut his career short.

    Will he be like Carles Puyol in several years' time?

     

    Leonardo Bonucci

    Bonucci went from scapegoat to one of the league's best defenders and has benefited enormously from playing alongside Barzagli and Chiellini.

     

    Martin Caceres

    For someone who has a history of rash tackling, Martin Caceres toned it down this season, averaging 0.4 fouls in Serie A.

    He's a great squad player to have.

     

    Federico Peluso

    Peluso is too clumsy to play as one of the back three but good option as a wing-back.

     

    Now you begin to see why Luca has been limited to sporadic starts.

Next Season Is Make or Break for Luca Marrone

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    Luca Marrone is safe in possession (completes 91.6 percent of his league passes), doesn't commit many fouls (hasn't drawn a yellow card in eight combined Serie A/UEFA Champions League games), and has shown qualities to indicate that he could be a solid footballer.

    With Paul Pogba attracting plaudits for his midfield displays, Luca's chances of playing in midfield are slim-to-none. If Giorgio Chiellini goes down with a long-term injury next season, Marrone may get an extended run in the starting XI at centre-back.

    Should he go through another season of bench-warming, he has to seriously consider moving to another club where he is guaranteed starts.

    It's more beneficial to his career to be playing top-flight games week in, week out rather than earning medals as a bit-part player.

     

     

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    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com and Squawka.com.

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