Fabio Paratici Hopes Paulo Dybala Can Be Juventus' Lionel Messi

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13:  Paulo Dybala of Juventus gestures during the Coppa Italia Semi Final match between AC Milan and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 13, 2020 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Juventus director Fabio Paratici is hopeful the club's star forward Paulo Dybala can go on to have a similar influence in Turin to the one Lionel Messi has had at Barcelona. 

Dybala is one of the most gifted players in world football, although his long-term future at Juventus appeared to be in serious doubt in the summer, when he was linked with a move away from the Italian champions.

This season he's enjoyed a renaissance under the guidance of manager Maurizio Sarri and is in talks over a possible contract extension. Paratici said to Rai Sport (h/t Football Italia) he has high hopes for the Argentina international.

"We are very happy with Dybala, he is our No. 10; we invested heavily in him and of course hope he can be Juve's Messi," he noted.

Paratici was also asked if there was any uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo's long-term future in Turin. "There are no doubts," he said.

At the end of the 2019 summer transfer window, Dybala was strongly linked with transfers to both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. After neither switch materialised, it was always going to be fascinating to see how he would fare under the tutelage of Sarri.

Overall, it's been a positive season for the 26-year-old, with nine goals in all competitions this season. One of his best strikes came in the UEFA Champions League against Atletico Madrid, when he slammed in this swirling free-kick:

Football analyst Craig Moniz commented on how effective Dybala has been in all-round play this season:

When he arrived at Juventus in 2015, it was anticipated that Dybala would go on to become one of the world's best players.

While he's scored some memorable goals and enjoyed regular success with the Bianconeri, he's never quite been able to showcase the consistency needed to be considered alongside his international team-mate Messi and his club team-mate Ronaldo.

Given Paratici's comments, it would appear there is still faith in Turin he can reach those levels. Former Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio recently spoke highly of the forward:

It's testament to Dybala's quality and mental fortitude that he's been able to bounce back after a summer where Juventus seemingly wanted him off the books. If he was to sign a new deal soon, it would be a major boost for the club.

Dybala will now be looking to make a decisive impact on the field in the coming months, with Juventus in a serious battle with Inter Milan and Lazio for the Serie A title, not to mention in pursuit of their first Champions League title since 1996.

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