Who is Dragusin: the Juventus defender offered in the Locatelli deal

by | Jun 23, 2021 18:46

Juventus are set to offer Radu Dragusin in the deal to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, so Football Italia takes a look at who the 19-year-old is.

Locatelli is tipped to leave Sassuolo after the Euros, although bookmakers at comeon.com are still unsure about his possible destination, as Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are also believed to be interested in the 23-year-old.

Dragusin, an U21 Romania international, moved to Turin from Regal Bukarest in 2018 and has gone through the Bianconeri’s academy, making his senior debut under Andrea Pirlo last term.

Dragusin is a powerful centre-back and is regarded as one of the most promising players that have thrived in the Bianconeri’s youth sector over the last few years.



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Un post condiviso da Radu Dragusin (@radudragusin5)

He joined Juventus for just €250,000 and when he arrived in Turin, he was the captain of the U16 Romania national team. Dragusin is now valued at €10m by the Bianconeri, who want to include him in a swap deal to sign Locatelli, adding €30m cash.

At times, he can also play at right-back, but Dragusin remains a pure central defender who, on paper, has no weak points thanks to his outstanding physicality and a pace that makes it difficult for strikers to beat him for speed. He needs to improve his technical skills, especially when it comes to building up from the back, but training with Leonardo Bonucci may have helped him to improve under this aspect.

The Italy international is one of Dragusin’s role models and so are Giorgio Chiellini and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.

Dragusin made his senior Juventus debut in a Champions League clash against Dynamo Kyiv in December 2020 and collected four appearances with the Bianconeri’s first team in 2020-21: two in the Coppa Italia and one in Serie A.

However, Dragusin’s approach to professional football in Italy came earlier than his senior debut in a Bianconeri shirt. Juventus, in fact, are the only Serie A club to have created a ‘B squad’ where their young players can develop.

Many Primavera players are promoted to the ‘Under 23’ squad that plays in Italy’s third tier. Dragusin has been one of those, having made 15 appearances with the U23 squad in Serie C between 2019 and 2021. The best players of the U23 team are then promoted to the first squad, with whom they train regularly during the week.

Many players have gone through this process, including former Parma loanee Hans Nicolussi Caviglia or Nicolò Fagioli, who is still part of the team and is supposed to become a regular at the Continassa under Massimiliano Allegri in 2021-22.


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Un post condiviso da Radu Dragusin (@radudragusin5)

What could Dragusin offer to Sassuolo? The Neroverdi like the defender and need a replacement for Marlon, who has joined the former Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Dragusin and Marlon have similar characteristics, but the Juventus starlet is seven years younger than the former Barcelona defender and will have time to develop at the Mapei Stadium, which has proved to be a perfect place for young players to thrive.

Tottenham scouted Dragusin for a long time last year and came close to signing him as a free agent in January, as the defender’s contract in Turin was due to expire in June 2021. Back in April, the Serie A giants announced his contract extension until 2025.

Perhaps, Dragusin would not imagine he could leave the club only a few months later.

Pic credit: Radu Dragusin on Instagram

Radu Dragusin of Juventus



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