3 Players Who Could Be Andrea Pirlo's Heir at Juventus
The magisterial 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 than a decade, Andrea has picked up the following accolades: a World Cup victory, multiple Champions League trophies and a few Scudetti to boot.
He has left a lasting legacy both on the Azzurri and in previous clubs where he has played.
The recently turned 34-year-old Pirlo has not really lost a step and managed to lead the Italian national team in the Confederations Cup to another impressive outing.
Juventus needs to start seriously scouting for possible replacements for one of the greatest deep-lying playmakers who ever graced a grassy pitch.
Here is a list of three potential players who could fill Pirlo's boots in the long run at Juventus.
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Having recently suited up for the Italian national team's U-21 side, which made it all the way to the finals, Marco Verratti could be an excellent option to takeover the reigns of his mentor, Andrea Pirlo.
The 20-year-old Paris St. Germain midfield creator still has plenty of room to grow and is gaining invaluable experience with his inclusion in a team with Champions League ambitions.
It'll be hard for La Vecchia Signora to steal one of the newly rich club's biggest assets, even though the player himself has not shied way from echoing his desire of returning to his native Italy.
Verratti is a bit different than Pirlo. Physically, he's a much shorter, stockier athlete. He tends to be slightly more direct type of player and lacks the same enviable free-kick-taking ability.
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Let's be realistic: A player like Andrea Pirlo will be nearly impossible to emulate, so perhaps it's useless for Juventus to find the ideal substitute.
Instead of trying to unearth a player in a position which is becoming extinct, thrust a modern midfielder like Paul Pogba into that role and reap the rewards.
Pogba is an absolute behemoth of a player who can affect the match in a multitude of ways. He's tall, athletic and technically gifted. He possesses a cannon shot and is an intimidating aerial presence.
Needless to say, Pogba brings a very different dimension to the midfield than Pirlo but perhaps one that will fit the team better in the future.
As cliche as it may be, the sky is the limit for the young Frenchman, and he is truly developing into one of the best players worldwide in his position.
Change the Tactics
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Let's hypothetically say that Juventus don't even bother filling Andrea's boots and just change the formation outright.
With the arrival of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, they have two creators upfront who can both finish with clinical precision and pick out streaking teammates down the flank.
If Juventus decides to switch from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, they could employ two holding midfielders in front of the defense and go with a high-octane attack.
These four-man defensive formations do not necessarily need an Andrea Pirlo-type player, and the likes of Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba will be good enough to hold up the overall quality of the starting XI.