Two Reliable Players to leave a writhing Juventus in 2022 Summer Window? 

How have the times changed? Once the most dominant force in Italy is now barely scraping by its former glory. Juventus, one of the strongest powers in Italian Serie A, won the Scudetto a record 36 times, nearly twice as much as their nearest competitors Internazionale (19) and A.C Milan (18). But the past two seasons have witnessed their cogs being rusted.

The Old Lady has been turning old literally. With an average squad age over 28, it is one of the oldest squads in Europe. In fact, in the 2018-19 season, their average squad age was over 29. They tried to address the issue by bringing in several young signings like Matthijs de Ligt, Arthur, Federico Chiesa, Merih Demiral. etc. But it seems to be the end of the road for a few of them. 

After a title-winning campaign in 2018-19, then manager Massimiliano Allegri was sacked due to his inability to lead Bianconeri to conquer Europe. Maurizio Sarri was handed the reins. But a close Serie-A win and unfulfilled UCL ambitions of the club showed him the exit door. Juventus experimented by giving Italy legend Andrea Pirlo a shot, but that ended in Juventus failing to win Scudetto for the first time in the decade and barely qualifying for UCL following Napoli’s unlucky draw at final matchday. Allegri has been reinstated as manager before the 2021-22 season.

But Old Lady’s poor run of form recently suggests many youngsters considering a move elsewhere. The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo left them to re-join Manchester United has turned this speculation into a possibility. Among those who are set to leave, Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Chiesa are frontrunners. The Dutch international has been linked with a move away from Turin for quite a while. The final nail in the coffin was the press statement from his agent Mino Raiola which confirmed the rumours that Matthijs is unhappy at Bianconeri and seeks a move in the summer.

FC Barcelona has been touted as the most likely destination for the 22-year-old Centre-back. Mino Raiola’s good relation with Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, has increased Barcelona’s chances of obtaining him. The prospect of playing along with his former team-mate Frenkie de Jong and a generation of blossoming talents like Ansu Fati, Gavi, Nico, among others under the management of a maestro like Xavi, contributes as well. However, it is only possible if Barcelona acquires the required funds for the deal. 

The other suitors are Liverpool, Man Utd, and Arsenal. Liverpool has suffered the last season due to the absence of Virgil van Dijk and would love to prevent it in the future. Man Utd has been struggling to find a commanding Centre-back who can genuinely replace Rio Ferdinand, and Matthijs is the most suitable option if they are opportunistic enough.

Arsenal has been lying low ever since Arsene Wenger retired, and now when things have started going their way again, they would like to leave no stone unturned to propel the team to its former glory. Their chasing of Dusan Vlahovic justifies their ambitions, and the Gunners won’t shy from a little battle in Summer for a premium Centre-back who could probably lead them to League titles in the future.

Arsenal’s city rivals Chelsea are also a significant threat as the Blues would love a quality centre-back to replace the outgoing Antonio Rudiger.

Federico Chiesa is the other name on the list. The son of prolific striker Enrico Chiesa, he received an Order of Merit of the Italian Republic OMRI and is just 24 years old. The Italian winger is a treat to watch on the field.

A versatile attacker Federico is at his goal-scoring best at left-wing, beating opponents one-on-one through his technique. Shockingly, he is well adapted to another flank as well and is a creative winger who lays out final passes for other attackers. With the following attributes in his skillset, Federico can get into starting line-up of any world-class team. As displayed in Euro 2020, he was the wild card of Azzurri and Roberto Mancini, scoring 3 goals and the same number of assists. 

All has gone well for Chiesa till now, but the recent ACL tear has sidelined him for the rest of the season. Juventus have kept tabs on Man Utd’s Anthony Martial and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele as likely options to replace the young Italian. The increase in competition and lack of success at Old Lady could lead Chiesa to play his peak years elsewhere. Chelsea and Liverpool have emerged as the strong favourites.

Liverpool offered €60 million to Fiorentina for Chiesa in 2019, but the latter rejected the offer. The Reds are reportedly now preparing a €100 million offer in Summer. Chelsea has shown a great deal of interest in Chiesa lately and has been preparing a £71.7 million offer after their previous one of £63 million was rejected. Other notable clubs like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are also interested in the youngster but haven’t made any moves yet. 

Selling Chiesa and de Ligt would heavily damage Juventus’s European ambitions, but the phase Bianconeri is going through has forced them to resort to this move. Juventus is looking forward to a period of rebuilding to dominate Italy once again. But the wages of de Ligt and Chiesa would damage the club’s finances quite a bit, all the while wasting peak years of future world-beaters. While Juventus’s sale of these two stars might be bitter-sweet, a question still prevails. Can this lead Bianconeri to become the most dominant force in Italy once again and crush other sides as mercilessly as they used to? 

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