With the summer calcio mercato well under way, clubs across Italy find themselves being linked with every player under the sun, well, every player except Hasan Salihamadzic. Juventus moved quickly to seal three free transfers earlier this month, with Andrea Pirlo, Reto Ziegler and Michele Pazienza all signing up to the Conte Revolution. With the latter’s arrival upstaged by Gigi Buffon’s big day, impatience turned into annoyance at the lack of activity and absence of big money signings. However, while critics furiously typed away bemoaning the Bianconeri hierarchy’s activity, or lack of, Juve showered us with gifts in the form of a quadruple of signings to end the month on a high.
Matri seals dream Juve move
Now, granted anything involving Alena Seredova will have my attention in a flash (Gigi you lucky man!), but it is the signings of Alessandro Matri (€15.5m), Marco Motta (€3.75m), Simone Pepe (€7.5m) and Fabio Quagliarella (€10.5m) that have finally caught the attention of most supporters as the club went from shopping in Poundland to Selfridges. All four individuals spent last season on loan in Turin and made varying first impressions. Matri was a revelation following his arrival in January, netting 9 goals in just 16 appearances. Quagliarella looked the part before his season was curtailed with a serious knee injury at the turn of the year, while Motta and Pepe were largely inconsistent and will look to make major improvements next season.
Rumours and speculation continue to suggest that Juve are still targeting some big names, with Sergio Aguero and Michel Bastos amongst those mentioned. However, having already spent €37.25m, you have to wonder how much more the club has in reserve for strengthening the squad following the construction of the new stadium. Spare a thought for Alberto Aquilani too, with the Azzurri ace seeing every other loanee earn a permanent deal while he looks ahead to a return to England.
So while many of us were left wondering whether the Old Lady’s money vault had been emptied by Torino fans late in the night, the club have finally splashed out and brought in re-enforcements in preparation for next season, albeit four out of the seven are familiar faces. Ziegler aside, it is also refreshing to see the club continuing the successful tradition of creating a squad with a strong Italian backbone. Whether or not it has better results under Conte, we’ll find out in August.
What do you make of the summer signings so far? Happy with the arrivals, or are you still holding out for someone in particular? Share your thoughts!
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