I've made it quiet clear to anyone who follows me on Twitter that right now, two hours after the transfer window closes, that I doubt the full extent of Juve's changes are known. But what if, in the interest of debate, they are? How has the squad changed & what more could be done?
Since Beppe Marotta took over the running of the team in late May he has gone from zero-to-hero & back as often as Luciano Moggi has blamed Inter for his mobile phone bills.
So what has he achieved?
Lets look first at who has left the club; David Trezeguet left for free, saving the club €4.5m in wages. The same goes for Mauro Camoranesi (€3m), Jonathan Zebina (€2.5m) & Fabio Cannavaro (€2.2m). All three had contracts which would expire in 2011, & none would feature in the team, these moves made a saving of €12.2m.
Marotta also sold Diego for €15.5m, Christian Poulsen (€5.5m), Albin Ekdal (€4.8m), Sergio Almiron (€5m), Cristian Molinaro (€3.9m) & Domenico Criscito (€6m). Also agreed were loans for Sebastian Giovinco (for a €1m fee) & Tiago (€0.5m). Altogether that made the club €48.2m.
Then come the arrivals. The names I'll come to later, first the figures. Marotta has committed just €26.06m in fees this summer, with deals structured over the next three seasons. That means if the club picks up every option that Juve are tied into €28.3m in both 2011 & 2012, with figure falling to €12.6m in 2013.
The total spend is €95.26m, meaning a total market operation of €35.22, which given the fact that the club will gain substantial funding when moving to its own stadium next summer is more than manageable for a club the size of Juventus. Again the figures only stand if EVERY option is picked up.
So, what did Juve get for that money?
Given Gigi Delneri's steadfast adherence to 4-4-2, lets look at the squad from that angle, first remembering how much younger the squad is now compared to this time last year.
In goal Juventus are still blessed by the presence of Gigi Buffon, backed up by two extremely capable deputies in Marco Storari & Alex Manninger.
The defensive line of Motta(86)-Bonucci('87)-Chiellini('84)-De Ceglie('86) maybe young & raw but has the potential to be one of the very best in Europe given that Chiellini is the "old man" at just 26. The reserve unit is made up of Grygera-Rinaudo-Legrottaglie-Traore. Not the best in the world but a vast improvement on last season.
Midfield was a huge concern last year but now is completely refreshed with Krasic('84)-Marchisio('86)-Sissoko('85)-Pepe('83) being supported by Lanzafame('87)-Aquilani('84)-Melo('83)-Martinez('83). Two players for each position, no really big names to demand starting roles, all hungry & fighting for their shirts.
Up front there are four players for two roles with Alessandro Del Piero & Fabio Quagliarella playing just off Amauri or Iaquinta. Yes they have injury problems right now, but sure going with that four man attack is wiser than spending €15-18m on a player who would be a fifth choice in less than three weeks?
No it isn't the best squad in the league & yes it still needs work with obvious changes needed - namely a solid reserve for both full back slots & a top line striker. But it is no stretch of the truth to say Marotta has done more in one window than the previous regime managed in seven.
Instead of an over-rated over-paid big name for now Juventus fans should look forward to the 2010-11 season with great hope & optimism, for that is Beppe Marotta's gift to us.
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