Juventus once owned Serie A, winning the league eight times in a row. The Old Lady dominated Italian football for almost a decade, with titles to showcase. However, in the last couple of years, Juventus have failed miserably as one of Europe’s most fierce clubs.
The question is, what went wrong? Why are they failing so miserably?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure
Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus was the biggest headline in the football world in 2018. The transfer saw massive shifts and increased ratings in Serie A, making it one of the most important transfers for the Old Lady. Ronaldo’s inclusion saw many changes being made within the squad to accommodate the living legend. This included changes like Paulo Dybala favoured less and Juan Cuadrado being pushed down in the wing-back position.
With Ronaldo’s sudden transfer from the Allianz Stadium to Old Trafford, Juventus could not recover from his untimely departure as the Bianconeris were accustomed to having the Portuguese striker at the helm. With Ronaldo, their primary source of goals, gone, they looked for replacements but in vain. While many fans blamed the 36-year-old for the Turin-based club to not succeed in Europe, it was after his departure that they realised how important he was to the squad.
Failing to retain right players
The departure of Paulo Dybala was seen as a huge mistake made by the Old Lady. Moreover, the fact that Dybala was allowed to leave for free was further criticised by the fans. Dybala was one of Juve’s main forwards and a prime goal-scorer. After the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, he was seen out of favour in the squad and was played in unsuitable positions. From a centre forward to a winger, Dybala failed to adapt.
Perhaps after Ronaldo’s exit, many thought that the Argentine would return to his favoured position. However, with the arrival of Dusan Vlahovic, that chance was taken away from him for once and for all. The club chose to let him go instead of making the most of his service.
Other than Dybala, the decision to sell Matthijs de Ligt to Bayern Munich was another questionable decision considering Juventus do not have a replacement for the departing Dutchman. Moreover, the loan deal which saw Arthur Melo move to Liverpool came out of nowhere. In a situation where Juventus could’ve made good use of the talented midfielder, they chose to let him play elsewhere while they struggled to make an impact.
Plethora of deadwood
At the moment, Juventus have a squad of spent players like Alex Sandro, Juan Cuadrado, Adrien Rabiot and Daniel Rugani along with new signings Angel Di Maria and Paul Pogba. Pogba was ruled out within a few weeks of his arrival due to an injury and is yet to make his debut-return. While there was excitement in the air at the beginning of the season, there surely is none now.
Juventus should have recruited more talent to increase squad depth. As a result of failing to do that, they stand eight in the league with just two wins out of seven matches. If Juve have sights on a second-half comeback, they will have to look at the January transfer window for solutions.
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