Was Dani Alves one of three key Juventus signings to prepare for Paul Pogba's departure?
In Italian football, Juventus currently stand head and shoulders above all challengers. In the last five years they have claimed all five available Serie A titles, two Italian cups and three Italian Super Cups.
Currently enjoying a sustained period of dominance domestically, they have continued to fall short in the Champions League. Juventus are widely expected to reclaim a further Serie A title, even as they prepare for life without Paul Pogba, who is set to complete a world record transfer move to Manchester United for a deal in excess of £100 million.
Pogba would become the second big name signing to depart Juventus this season after losing Alvaro Morata to Real Madrid for £25.5 million due to a cunningly placed buy-back clause in his contract by Real Madrid.
Despite the loss of a couple of key players, manager Massimiliano Allegri has been busy in the transfer market, as he continues to strengthen the squad in preparation for another season which could see them emerge as serious contenders for the European title as well as major Italian honours.
Allegri is aiming for his third consecutive league title and the club’s sixth, but with key acquisitions already made, here are three arriving players who could help them achieve European glory.
1) Gonzalo Higuain
After a summer of rumours linking the Argentine with big money moves to the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, the former Real Madrid superstar arrived from Napoli for £76.5 million. With such a gargantuan price tag comes a big expectation. The pressure to deliver the goals will come naturally to last season’s top scorer, who netted an impressive 36 goals in 35 games.
In his three years at Napoli, he amassed a total of 91 goals in 146 games in all competitions. His goal-scoring may prove to be the catalyst for a successful Champions League campaign, which he will be determined to add to his domestic trophy haul listed below.
List of Honours:
3 Spanish Championships (Real Madrid)
1 Spanish Cup (Real Madrid)
1 Spanish Super Cup (Real Madrid)
1 Italian Cup (Napoli)
1 Italian Super Cup (Napoli)
2) Dani Alves
Without question, Dani Alves has been one of the best attacking full-backs of his generation. Whether he remains so is the only real point for debate. Alves arrives on a free contract from Barcelona, after spending 13 years in Spain where he amassed 621 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona (391 games) and Sevilla (230 games)
The 33-year-old will give Juventus a wealth of experience and add to the winning mentality of an impressive squad. Having grown accustomed to winning, he is unlikely to settle for less than adding to his already impressive trophy haul. His time in Spain has been filled with success and silverware.
List of Honours:
6 Spanish Championships (Barcelona)
5 Spanish Cups (4 Barcelona, 1 Sevilla)
6 Spanish Super Cups (5 Barcelona, 1 Sevilla)
2 Uefa Cups (Sevilla)
4 Uefa Super Cups (3 Barcelona, 1 Sevilla)
3 Champions Leagues (Barcelona)
3 Fifa Club World Cup (Barcelona)
1 Copa America (Brazil)
2 Confederations Cups (Brazil)
3) Miralem Pjanic
The Bosnian playmaker was bought from Roma for £27.2 million and will be expected to become a key creative element of the Juventus team. The midfielder has spent five years at Roma and is experiencing a growing reputation in the game. Pjanic’s record for Roma is impressive with 30 goals and 46 assists in 185 games in all competitions.
He will be expected to regularly unlock opposition defences with his creative vision and range of passing. With Higuain up top, Pjanic is likely to be one of the main providers and his assist tally could rise significantly.
Having previously never claimed any honours within the game so far, he will be hungry to secure domestic and European titles during his time in Turin, and with such a collection of the game’s stars around him, who would bet against it coming to fruition as early as this coming season.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Oriol Gironès
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