Diego Reportedly Signs With Juventus: Is He the Big Signing Juve Need?
If quotes in German magazine Kicker from Diego's agent Giacomo Petralito and Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli are true, a deal has been struck and it's just a matter of the transfer window opening for the deal to become official.
The question is whether this is the smartest move for the club.
There is no doubting that the 24-year-old midfielder can play a little ball. He's an incredible talent and his possible transfer fee, reportedly in the €25 million range, is Exhibit A as to how high Werder Bremen rate him.
Is it a worthy price? Probably not, considering the current times where dropping millions of euros on players is just another day at the office.
Judging by the previous signings Juve Sporting Director Alessio Secco has made over the past two years, there isn't much to really hang your hat on. His first two midfield signings before the 2007 season were high-priced and have done a whole lot of nothing in the Juve colors, and Dane Cristian Poulsen could very well be on the path of disappointing signings if he doesn't impress next season.
Because of his past, you can't get as excited as you may want to about what Diego could possibly bring to the table.
However, is he the man that will return Juventus to its previous glory?
There is no doubt that he would inject some creativity into a Juve side that seriously lacked it throughout a lot of the season. Yet despite all the struggles in that department, Juve still have one of the best attacks in Italy. While they have racked up goals in the past few weeks, they have also let in quite a few, some against teams you wouldn't exactly call offensive powerhouses.
That means the midfield isn't the only thing that needs to be addressed this summer. And no, that doesn't mean only bringing in Fabio Cannavaro.
If he's viewed as the replacement for the retiring Pavel Nedved, then the Juve board is mistaken. Diego is not a winger like Nedved and has really only played one position in his career, attacking midfield.
The role he does play could ultimately come down to who is roaming the sidelines at the Stadio Olimpico next season.
Claudio Ranieri's seat is certainly hot, if not scorching by now, and how Juve finishes the season will have a huge role on how they feel about the Tinkerman leading the team into the future.
If he does stay around, it's hard to see where Ranieri will fit him into his much-loved 4-4-2 system with a flat four in the midfield. That means no trequarista in the scheme of things and would mean if Diego did play a central midfield role, he would have almost as much defensive responsibility as he would have guiding the Juve attack.
Sebastian Giovinco has certainly felt the wrath of Ranieri's reluctance to change and adapt to what he has and not run the same lineup out there every week.
Diego's not a winger or a genuine center midfielder, then where the heck do you play him?
Why sign a guy who virtually plays the same position as one of Italy's brightest talents who is just waiting for a chance to play more than 10 minutes a game?
Giovinco certainly does seem to be the forgotten man in all of Juve's rumored transfer from the Brazilian midfielder. The talk regarding Giovinco this season has not been how he's played on the field, but why he hasn't been a regular on it.
If the Juve management fully committed to making Giovinco a legitimate piece of their future, other than extending his contract and throwing out cliché after cliché in the press, then there's no need for a player who is a more-expensive player who is also two years his senior.
Giovinco was born in Turin and grew up at the club. The fans know what he can do when he's out there, but Ranieri has shown that he doesn't have full confidence that the Atomic Ant can get it done.
There's only one way to find out, however. Let the kid run wild. We've seen spurts of it, but nothing at all to be considered consistent playing time.
But as for now, it looks like the attention is in the Brazilian's corner and Giovinco might as well be set for another couple of games on the sidelines itching for his chance to help his team, his heart, win a game.
Can the two little dynamos play together on the same field?
Only time will tell, but for now, we're all waiting to see whether the rumors become a reality, Diego is standing in front of Juve's history holding a black and white jersey, and talks about how he wants to lead the bianconeri into the future.
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