Juventus are not getting carried away just yet, but acknowledge they are in good shape to retain their crown with 19 games played. The Bianconeri have been led to top spot – five points clear of Roma – by members of the old guard, the likes of Carlos Tevez, Leonardo Bonucci and Claudio Marchisio, with championship medals already in their possession.
Tevez was the big-name signing of last season, but nobody of his stature arrived at Vinovo this time around. Rather, the policy was to bolster the squad and add depth with players who can challenge the established contingent. When asked about the new brigade before last week’s Coppa Italia clash with Verona, Massimiliano Allegri responded: “Our new signings have been good.” With six months in Turin under their belt, here’s a look at each of the five arrivals.
Roberto Pereyra has made the most appearances, 24, of the new breed and only five players have been fielded more often than El Tucumano in all competitions. He’s featured in various midfield roles, shining brightest in taking up a position behind the strikers. The Argentine has proven a solid option and versatile figure. With 12 Serie A starts under his belt he has the tactician’s faith.
Adding goals to his repertoire – as has been the case in recent days – will only boost his standing. On loan from Udinese, 银河棋牌Pereyra’s move can be made permanent in July and it would not be a surprise to see a deal negotiated. One question is whether spending up to €14m on his signature will enhance the Old Lady in the Champions League, where she strives to improve each season. Pereyra has started just once in Europe.
Alvaro Morata, meanwhile, arrived fresh from Real Madrid’s European triumph, but didn’t see much game time in the Spanish capital. This season has followed a similar pattern, with the 22-year-old locked in an Iberian battle with Fernando Llorent打鱼平台e for the right to partner Tevez. The nod has oft澳门娱乐en gone to the former Athletic Bilbao man. Morata’s start against Verona was just his sixth.
From the bench Morata – four League goals – has proven an impact player, providing energy and a goal threat in limited playing time. Allegri sees a talented and decisive player, but one who needs to exhibit greater consistency to become a regular starter: “Morata has extraordinary technique. He arrived from a huge club like Real Madrid, but didn’t play much there, so this is a very different season for him… He needs to be a little less frenetic and also realise that he has to be in a game for over 90 minutes.”
Patrice Evra ended an eight-and-a-half-season stay at Manchester United to join Juventus, returning to the country where he commenced his professional career. ‘Uncle Pat’ took time to adjust as the Bianconeri initially kept to the 3-5-2 formation of seasons past. He traded the left wing-back position with Kwadwo Asamoah, but with Juve’s switch to a four man defence and the Ghanaian’s injury is the undisputed choice at left back.
With consistent game time under his belt in a position of comfort the veteran has improved. At 33, Evra is only a short-term option and it’s a position Juventus will likely add to in the summer, but he has valuable experience to offer, especially in Europe.
Countryman Kingsley Coman has enjoyed a positive start to life in Turin. Signed on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, summer reports spoke glowingly of the 18-year-old. Bianconeri fans got the chance to see what the fuss was about on the opening day against Chievo as Coman was thrust into the starting line-up. He responded with an encouraging debut.
His Coppa goal was a first career strike and perhaps a sign of things to come from the promising talent. Coman has pace and can be a handful for opponents. He can only get better as he continues to adapt and grow.
Lastly, Romulo’s season has not panned out so well. He arrived from Verona a jack-of-all-trades type, but thanks to injury has worn the black and white just three times. If Pereyra’s move is a good chance of becoming permanent, the same cannot be said for the Italo-Brazilian.
Contrasting fortunes, then, for the quintet. Six months into the journey the overall sentiment surrounding their impact is one of positivity. The players will want to use the remaining months of the season to further their worth. As they head towards the Scudetto, Juve know the new blood has played its part.