6 Reasons Juventus Need to Focus on Retaining Their Own Players
Juventus enter this summer from a good base, with work to be done in order to take them closer to their lofty ambitions of claiming the Champions League.
A key part of sustaining progression will undoubtedly be fending off clubs interested in some of their talented players.
The squad needs tweaking, but manager Antonio Conte will be as determined to maintain what he has.
Here are six reasons why Juventus must try to retain their current players.
Greatness to Come from Pogba
Paul Pogba will be the most important player that Juve will attempt to keep over the summer.
There will be numerous clubs who register an interest in the former United midfielder, but Conte will hope that the Frenchman sees his immediate future in Torino.
The 21-year-old has only scratched the surface of his potential and the reason why he is the most important player to keep this summer is that he is ready to break into that elite category, with greatness certainly achievable within a season or two, given his raw talent.
Combine the inevitable results of fine-tuning parts of his game with tremendous athleticism, power and strength—which will all improve as his body fills out—and Juve will have a world-beater on their hands.
Message to Fans
By maintaining their best players, Juve will be sending a message to the fans that they do not accept domestic success as enough and there are legitimate ambitions to aim for dominance on the European stage.
The fans clearly enjoy the success experienced in Serie A over the past few years, but they crave European success more than any set of fans on the continent.
With Milan's illustrious history in Europe's premier competition, combined with Inter's recent triumph, Juve will always feel somewhat inferior to their rivals until they match their success in Europe.
If key players are sold, Juve can be criticised as accepting the position they are in instead of pushing on to the next level.
Tactical Work Alone Can Progress This Team
Juve's squad is largely complete and there are no apparent weaknesses, as there might have been 12 months ago.
The attack was given special attention last summer and Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez have adapted well already. Given a year of settling in, they should be even better next season.
Also, it is largely accepted that Juve's failure to progress to the knockout phase of the Champions League was more down to the tactics than the quality of the players at Conte's disposal.
Of course, if Conte changes the system, the players then might not be capable to make that tactical transition a success, but the existing group of players are very versatile and Conte has already shown that he can use different players in numerous roles.
A complementary piece here or there could benefit the group, but experimenting with a new system and preparing the group to be able to shift their tactical shape and approach more quickly will be most crucial, as opposed to significant surgery to the makeup of the squad.
Prove That Serie A Sides Can Compete in the Market
Serie A clubs have had a history of selling their best players in their prime over the past decade.
From Kaka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain's assault on numerous Italian clubs' prized assets, it is fair to label Serie A as a selling league.
This can be correlated, fairly or otherwise, to the failure of their teams in the Champions League and Europa League.
It is important for Juve to set an example for their fierce rivals and the lesser sides aiming to compete in Europe's secondary competition.
If they can do this and others follow, performances will improve across the board in Europe and Italy's coefficient will improve, meaning they can eventually earn that fourth Champions League place.
With an additional side in Europe, Serie A will be able to attract more talent and become a stronger league. This will generate greater income, which will help Juve to compete with foreign competitors in the transfer market, complementing their existing talent.
Ensure That the Azzurri Continue to Benefit from Fierce Competition
The Italian national team has benefitted greatly from Juve's recent dominance and can continue to do so moving forward if their best players—foreign or Italian—remain at the club.
Sure, sales of Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal might pave the way for Claudio Marchisio to have an increased amount of game time, but Il Principino will have benefited from this fierce competition for a place in the line-up.
Other Italian internationals, and prospective internationals such as Domenico Berardi and Simone Zaza, whom the Bianconeri co-own or have loaned out currently, would flourish if surrounded by a higher class of team-mates.
Cesare Prandelli would admit as much, as Conte has always held the importance of the Azzurri in high regard. Therefore, it is never a case of Juve looking out for No. 1, even if it means they neglect Italy's international hopes.
Give an Opportunity to Those Responsible for Failing This Season
It is impossible to deny that even though Juve possess many top-class players, some of those have flattered to deceive at times this season.
The likes of Vidal, Pogba, Carlos Tevez and Andrea Pirlo, to name a few, all need to share the blame for the club's failure to progress to the next stage of the Champions League.
Conte will come again with different ideas, but the current group will have extra hunger and drive to prove themselves in Europe after disappointing this past campaign.
By showing faith in the current group, Juve can have that inbuilt mentality entering next season that the group stage is not acceptable and they need to go beyond that phase of the competition.
Additional signings can then have the feeling of hurt transmitted to them from the current group that was felt when they suffered defeat to Galatasaray in Matchday 6 to seal their elimination.
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