With the end of the summer transfer window, Football Italia previews the 2021-22 Serie A campaign and what to expect from Juventus. Words Elio Salerno.
The Bianconeri saw Cristiano Ronaldo leave just a few days before the end of the summer transfer window and it remains to be seen how returning coach Massimiliano Allegri will cope with the departure of the Portuguese superstar.
JUVENTUS TRANSFERS IN
Kaio Jorge (S, Santos), Locatelli (M, Sassuolo), Kean (S, Everton)
JUVENTUS TRANSFERS OUT
Buffon (G, out of contract), Frabotta (D, Verona), Demiral (D, Atalanta), Cristiano Ronaldo (S, Manchester United), Ranocchia (M, Vicenza), Dragusin (D, Samp), Fagioli (M, Cremonese), Delli Carri (D, Salernitana)
WHAT TO EXPECT
Juventus relinquished their Serie A crown last season after nine consecutive Scudetti. Not only did the Bianconeri fail in their quest to achieve ten in a row, the Turin giants risked missing out on the top four altogether, but not for the last day salvation.
After three seasons with three different coaches, The Old Lady has turned to a familiar face for the 2021-2022 campaign but it is fair to say that expectations are as low as they have never been for almost a decade. Competing for the title looks complicated but it’s expected, so qualification for the Champions League and progressing to the knock-out rounds of Europe’s elite football competition are the minimum requirement.
COACH – MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI
Max Allegri is back for a second spell on the Juve bench but faces a very different task than when appointed the first time around. In 2014 Max inherited a cohesive successful team, now he has an unbalanced squad that lacks confidence and togetherness. Allegri’s coaching and management skills will be at full stretch as he looks to find a solution to his team’s problems, he will need to lean on all his experience to help guide him.
Allegri has shown in the past to be a flexible and smart tactician; he will need to be inventive as he attempts to jell a group of mismatched players. With little in the way of external support from the transfer market, Allegri has to work with what he has meant another potentially difficult season awaits.
CAPTAIN – GIORGIO CHIELLINI
Having recently signed a new two-year contract, 37-year-old Giorgio Chiellini’s leadership and experience are needed now at Juve more than ever. The Bianconeri are always more assured when their captain is on the pitch, his presence, mentality and work ethic is infectious to those around him on the pitch.
With over 500 Juventus appearances to his name, Chiellini has proven that – despite his age – on his day he is still one the games purest defenders, making an impact on his teammates, the opposition and the result. Chiellini will need to work closely with Allegri to pull this squad together and put Juve on the right path.
PLAYER TO WATCH – FEDERICO CHIESA
With their superstar No.7 making way, La Vecchia Signora is in need of another talisman. Ready-made for the job and the player who a new Juve should be built around is Federico Chiesa. Fresh off his first season in Turin where he made an instant impact and impression, it is time for Chiesa to make this his Juventus.
The direct winger has all the attributes to become one of the most feared attackers in Europe and should he carry this team forward – contributing a high volume of goals and assists on the way – Chiesa’s reputation will be elevated to the level his potential deserves. Fresh from starring in Italy’s successful UEFA Euro 2020 campaign, Chiesa has given himself the platform to take his game to a new level.