5 Potential Long-Term Replacements for Andrea Pirlo at Juventus

Matteo BonettiContributor IApril 16, 2013

5 Potential Long-Term Replacements for Andrea Pirlo at Juventus

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    Unfortunately, the ethereal Andrea Pirlo is not immortal, and the fateful day will come when he'll hang up his boots and proceed elsewhere with his perfectly feathered hair.

    Having been in the Serie A for more with a decade, Andrea has achieved more than most players could ever dream of: a World Cup trophy, multiple Champions League trophies and a few Scudetti to boot.

    He has won everywhere he has gone and has left a lasting legacy both at the club level and on the Italian national team. 

    However, Pirlo turns 34 years old in May. Juventus needs to start seriously scouting for possible replacements for one of the greatest deep-lying playmakers who ever lived. 

    Here is a list of five potential players who could try to fill Pirlo's massive boots.

Marco Verratti

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    By far the most sensible option on this list, the PSG youngster already admited he came close to signing with Juventus last summer after recently promoted Pescara knew they couldn't hold onto him any longer.

    Even though it'd be criminal for the Parisienne side to let go of their young starlet, the player himself has stated he misses Italy and would not mind a return in the near future.

    The diminutive Verratti plays a role similar to Pirlo's, slotted in front of the defense and spraying balls around the field. He has plenty of room to grow and looked comfortable against the best midfield in the world in PSG's second leg against Barcelona

Paul Pogba

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    While Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo couldn't be any more different on the pitch, one has to wonder whether Juventus will even bother trying to find a player of Pirlo's ilk and just go with their up-and-coming French superstar Paul Pogba.

    He offers a multidimensional force in the midfield who can score from long range as well as defend and pass. Seeing as though the deep-lying playmaker position is slowly being phased out for a more physical, athletic approach to playing, Pogba fits the bill as a modern player.

Andrea Poli

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    Swooped up by Juventus in the January transfer window, the current Sampdoria midfielder won't join the Bianconeri until the summer.

    Poli is a versatile midfielder who can fill many roles and could even slot in behind the strikers and offer a modest goal rate.

    In what is already a saturated midfield in Turin, Poli will look to assert himself as yet another creative force who can relieve the aging Pirlo.

Luca Marrone

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    Even though Luca Marrone has been played as a reserve central defender by Antonio Conte this season, he has the tools to play in the midfield as well.

    Marrone grew up in the Bianconeri youth system and will most likely see more playing time next season, both in the midfield and back three.

    While his characteristics are very different from those of Pirlo, there isn't a rule that states Juventus must find an exact replica of the legend himself.

    Expect Marrone to continue seeing more minutes in the upcoming seasons.

Luca Cigarini

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    The Atalanta midfielder looks to move back to Napoli once his loan spell finishes, but he could be viewed as a potential replacement for Andrea Pirlo in a few years.

    He has impressed plenty with the Bergamo outfit, showcasing both creativity and leadership in their midfield.

    Cigarini will be right in his prime when Pirlo sets off into the sunset and should be viewed as a serious candidate.