Angel Di Maria has agreed to join Juventus and Lorenzo Bettoni looks at the pros and cons of the deal for the Old Lady.
The Argentinean winger is available as a free agent after the end of his contract with PSG and following months and months of negotiations, he has finally given his green light to move to Turin.
Di Maria is expected to sign a one-year deal at the Allianz Stadium, but it’s still unclear whether the agreement will come with an option to extend his stay for a further season. His agents have confirmed that they are discussing the final details with the Serie A giants before putting pen to paper on the agreement. Di Maria can cover multiple roles in attack. He can be deployed on both flanks or even as a Trequartista, behind a centre forward.
Juventus have pulled off a great deal, technically and financially. The Old Lady was looking for quality in the final third after the departures of Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi. Di Maria adds much-needed experience and unpredictability in the final third, giving Max Allegri multiple options to line up Juventus next season.
Federico Chiesa will return from his knee injury in October, but just imagine a front-three with the Italy international, El Fideo and Dusan Vlahovic. Pure quality and surely one of the best attacks in the league. Di Maria will likely provide the assists Vlahovic is desperate for. Juventus only scored 57 goals in Serie A last season, the worst record in the top 9 where Verona, Fiorentina and Atalanta found the net more frequently than the Bianconeri.
Only Torino (46) managed fewer goals than Max Allegri’s team in the top 12. Many fans blamed Allegri for Juventus’ poor attacking production, but the Tuscan coach would argue that he didn’t have enough material to score consistently. Chiesa got injured in January, Vlahovic arrived at the end of the summer transfer window and many attacking players didn’t live up to expectations, with two of them – Dybala and Bernardeschi – leaving at the end of their contracts.
There’s no doubt that Di Maria will implement Juventus’ firepower, but there are also cons that the club has already considered and don’t see as detrimental to the Argentinean’s signing.
As things stand, motivation is undoubtedly the most significant question mark surrounding the deal. Di Maria took a lot of time to pick the Old Lady over Barcelona and doesn’t seem convinced about signing a two-year contract.
His main target is to play at the 2022 World Cup and then return to Argentina at the end of the season, where he wants to end his career. Juventus are getting a great professional in Di Maria and the achievements obtained in his career speak for themselves.
However, considering his (right) commitment to his national team: it’s natural to wonder whether he’d focus entirely on Juventus, especially in the first part of the campaign, where he’d want to avoid injuries that could prevent him from playing with Argentina.
His former PSG teammate Gigi Buffon has no doubts about him and believes that El Fideo will be worthy of Diego Maradona in Serie A, in light of the technical level of Italy’s top flight.
“Footballers must be valued considering the context where they play. Today Serie A is technically poorer and Angel has so much technique,” Buffon told La Gazzetta dello Sport last week.
Buffon wasn’t wrong there and if Di Maria is motivated enough, he will easily become one of the best players in Serie A for 2022-23. Perhaps, knowing the league and the country a little better will give him the right push to further postpone his final trip to his beloved Argentina.