How Important is an Italian Core?

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Post by Luca Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:45 am

Let me preface this by saying: respond to the entirety of the question and if you are replying to my post specifically, do not focus on a specific piece but consider how it all fits together.

Brief History:
Ital-Juve has been around forever. It is the idea that the core of the National Team and Juventus are one. That we want the best Italian players, the best Italian players want to play for Juventus and that synergy is part of our identity.

Present:
Presently, we have Buffon, our most capped player and one of the last active players from the 2006 World Cup winning squad- a legend. We have Barzagli, Chiellini, Marchisio, Sturaro, De Sciglio, Rugani, Bernardeschi. All are prominent players, many still feature for the national team. The identity is there.

Future:
We have Caldara and Spinazzola set to join next season. Mandragora and Orsolini on loan. We are steadily linked with players like Cristante, Barella, Jorginho and Verratti. We have missed out on Pellegri (for example). Are we still holding true to this identity?

Scenario:
PSG wants Pjanic, so on another forum everyone was floating the idea that in exchange, we should ask for Verratti. This, to me, is ludicrous. However, it left many Juventus fans divided. I am as biased as they come and I appreciate Verratti as an immense talent but would you hypothetically go for such a move? Pjanic has been head and shoulders our best midfielder and looking like one of the best transfers we have done in the last decade. Is it not undercutting his value to simply suggest that a Verratti swap would see us even, or even better off?

My thoughts and answers to the questions above.

1. Yes. This identity is extremely important to me but not to the detriment of the team. Are we missing out on the supreme Italian talents available or are there simply less talented players at the prescribed Juve level at the present moment? I would have to believe its the latter. We have made Serie A our main hunting ground for transfers, its always been that way. We look inwards prior to outwards for talent and it has netted us a healthy return. It just happens that we have been signing more foreign players, but ultimately- talented players and this is what we should be happy with.

2. Yes, we are maintaining this identity. Looking at the team more recently, Bernardeschi, De Sciglio, Caldara, Spinazzola set to return, Rugani already here, it is demonstrative that we are holding true to seeking out Italian talent. Many of our transfer links also happen to be Italian players. There are only two Italian players, recently, that come to mind that we have missed out on in terms of signing: Verratti (for failing to meet the fee PSG were willing to pay, at the time we had just signed Pogba) and Pellegri (again, for being unwilling to pay as much as Monaco did for a 16 year old). This is not to say we didn't miss out on Gagliardini or Conti or anyone in between, this is to say players we were directly linked with and probably could have or should have signed. This happens in any era and will happen again, it's not anything to fuss about.

3. I would not switch Pjanic for Verratti. I do not see how such a move would improve us and on top of that, I find it undervaluing of Pjanic who has just been immense for us and Roma before us.

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Post by rincon Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:45 pm

I don't know about that switch. Verratti seems to have too many injury problems and Pjanic is reliable for us. Verratti's ceiling is higher but we don't need to have more unavailable players during the season. I like Pjanic too much, don't want to see him swapped for anyone, he is the only making things work out there!

What are these PSG rumors? whats the quoted price for Pjanic? can't imagine us selling the offer is just too ridiculous.

The italian core is very important, Marotta says as much. The players are much more likely to want Juve and to stay at Juve for an indefinite amount of time. Connects easily with fans, managers, etc.

The talent is for sure lower than the 90s or early 2000's so its bound to be more difficult. At least its higher than it was with this latest generation. We got Chiellini, Bonucci, Giovinco and Marchisio out of that poor generation. We should get a similar batch of players out of this better one. Its already looking fine with Rugani, De Sciglio, Caldara, Spinazzola and Bernardeschi.

I've forgotten about Verratti for the most part since he's been playing in Ligue 1 for too long. We need to be all up on Pellegrini this summer.
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Post by Warrior Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:59 pm

As a non-italian, i am glad that Juventus remains true to its roots of being the queenof Italy. This is the path that was chosen a long time ago: dominate the league and have our players feature as key members in La Nazionale. It's part of the identity of the club and i embrace it to a reasonable extent.

Every time a great italian talent pops off, Juve is always there. Problem is, the current generation and the one before, were not that great. That's why our best italian players are past their 30s... then you have to skip a decade to find Bernardeschi and even younger players (Caldara, Spina, Rugani) who are still unproven. Also our primavera hasn't develop a lot of top players but that's a whole other debate maybe for another thread.

To summarize, i am not worried about Ital-Juve in the present or future... of all the u21 team in 2017 Euros, Andrea Conti is the only one that i regret he isn't our player. We are also linked with many players you mentioned ... i would appreciate them but not as starters, they are too raw currently.

Pjanic-Verratti ? Hell no
Never been a huge fan anyways, italian or not. If PSG want Pjanic so badly let them spend a good ol 70 millions for him, then reinvest on
Spoiler:
and some "promising" midfielder (Cristante, Barella, Pellegrini, Emre Can ???) to replace Khedira.
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Post by Warrior Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:03 pm

Don't get me wrong i don't wish for Pjanic to leave but SERGEJ + Khedira replacement would be easier to accept than a Verratti swap.
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Post by S Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:53 pm

Well it would be great to see Juventus have as many Italian players as long as they're quality but that should not be the primary agenda. Juventus are a business, not a babysitter for the Italian national team especially in this era of globalisation where big clubs are looking to expand commercially and improve their revenue.

The aim is to compete with the best and with the talent pool in Italy being pretty poor currently, it's natural for the management to look abroad for better talent. As long as the team is competitive and winning(which we have been), debating on whether Juventus have enough Italians or an Italian core should be the least of our worries honestly. These things should happen organically.
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Post by rincon Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:57 pm

These things should happen organically but should not be forgotten. Clubs have identities. They can be from play style, management, nationalities, ideas, etc. but they have to be there. Its important. Barca fans are less prone to accept a Mourinho/Simeone style guy nowadays for example. We would be hard pressed to take a foreign manager at Juve, even less so a foreign manager that is not a former player of ours. I don't know of the top of my head if it has ever even happened. These things are synonyms for the club and have been present before any of us were even born.

I and probably a lot of us would not want to see Juve become "faceless" and just be an interchangeable club. I like that there is an Agnelli at the helm. I like to see Nedved in the board, to see an Italian manager that gives continuity to ideas, to continue with deep roots in Serie A and always look for domination in all levels of Italian football, and to have a core of loyal players that represent Juventus. Most of these players will be italian as the cultural significance of Juve is different domestically. To have the deepest connection with the NT out of any club.

Milan for example must attack. I don't care at all if Juve is not all out attacking. It honestly stresses me out, I don't want too open football for us, I want control. The reason for that is 100% because I grew up watching Juve and Italian football. That doesn't mean parking the bus, I dislike that very much, but it means certain tactical decisions that coaches like Allegri, Conte, Lippi and Trappattoni do/did perfectly.

I'm big pro foreign player in Serie A. Can't stand the people that yell every few years that it should be only Italians. I'm a big fan of Dybala, Pogba, Higuain, Lichsteiner (absolute legend), Cuadrado, etc. Quality players should play and meritocracy should be the way (as it is).

Now when there are Italian players with the talent and quality for the taking, then I think we should always go for it. And I'm glad Marotta/Agnelli agree with me.

I don't think any of us regrets Juve pulling the trigger and breaking world records for Buffon. Going for it with Baggio who did so much for us. Betting on Del Piero when the "logical"thing would have been against it. Signing Cannavaro, Zambrotta, young Chiellini, Bonucci (even with how it ended), giving Marchisio a chance, etc.

That's our history. These players go on to become symbols of the club. Eventually the hope is that someone like Bernardeschi, the young CBs, or De Sciglio follow suit.
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Post by Luca Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:48 am

Very great responses. I was genuinely interested in how you guys see it- especially the non-Italians to see if it’s important to you guys as it perceivably was to myself growing up.

@rincon there was no figure attached to the Pjanic pursuit by PSG. As of now, it’s just a flimsy rumour but I thought it raised an interesting debate I stole from another forum: the Pjanic vs. Verratti swap hypothetical, which I have extended to a broader interpretation of Ital Juve.

To me, I agree with you guys. Talent over nationality but if we can have talented Italians then why not. It’s beneficial to everyone. I always want us to be in for talented Italians because we should be, just not at the detriment of the team. The notion of swapping Pjanic for Verratti today, would only weaken us. Even if the move worked out, it doesn’t mean it’s one we should welcome on a face value basis.

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Post by S Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:03 am

@rincon, this club will always have a strong Italian presence and the way it should be. All successful teams of the past have had a backbone of local talent. The current squad already satisfies the criteria. The senior players, some rising young talents and those token Italian squad players like the Sturaro's of the world. Now if the debate is whether there should be a strong Italian core within the starting eleven, we dont know , it depends on a lot of factors but as i said , that shouldnt be the primary agenda.

The point on Italian players being loyal compared to their foreign counterparts, again, we shouldnt compromise on our quality based on that premise alone. We have bought a lot of foreign talent in the last half a decade compared to Italian players. And these same foreign players bring in a hell lot of revenue once they're sold. Also lets not forget these Pogba's and Dybala's has helped hugely in expanding our international fanbase over the past few years. We've done exceedingly well despite key players being sold and i dont see why we should change our strategy and go Italian heavy until unless there's a talent boom in Italy. This is my point.

Lot of people connect their loyalty to Juventus with the Italian national team. It may not be the same for many non-Italians who just want to see the team win as many trophies as possible. So whenever a debate about buying an Italian player vs a foreign player arises, it doesnt mean someone like me doesnt want Italian players or wants to stack the team with foreign players. Its just that i may not deem the Italian player of a higher quality than a foreign one. For example, i would take Can over Pellegrini or Cristante. There's no agendas involved here.


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Post by rincon Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:08 am

We have the same point. I don't want anyone in the starting 11 that doesn't deserve to be there. That's why I don't support Rugani over Benatia when Benatia is on form and why Morata pissed me off when he kept playing while being shit.

On the last point, I would take Pellegrini waaaaaaaay over the other two. Can is so average. At least Pellegrini is actually talented and looks great. The only reason we are in for Can is because he is free and that is a sad prospect. He'll come here, earn like a top player, and most likely be meh while taking up a spot that could be had by a better player. A player that doesn't impress for Liverpool is a terribly disappointing gamble to take. No point of comparison between the two. Can seems like a textbook case of the grass is always greener. Like when PL fans got excited about West Ham signing Lemina (or when we got excited about Lemina for that matter).
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Post by Luca Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:14 am

I found Pellegrini very impressive in the U21 Euro last summer. This season at Roma, I've felt he has been underwhelming albeit in a very crowded and good midfield. It's tough to find continuity while playing in such a space. At 25M, his reported release clause, its certainly a move to ponder. Not exactly the same profile as Can, nor is it really a scenario as to one or the other.

I think I would probably go with Pellegrini too, I believe in his talent more and 25M is so reasonable in today's market.

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Post by rincon Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:19 am

He was big in the U21. Good for Sassuolo too. While at Roma he hasn't been great, he arrived a 21yo in his first season at big club with a new manager and still showed promise. His control and his passing are different, the talent is different. When he came in just now against England it showed too.

Can has basically confirmed he is average. He isn't developing or improving. He made the jump and stayed meh. Even Germans don't rate him.

I have no doubt that Can can be a success here because we are the type of team that could make him fit into the system and be solid. I also have little doubt that he can't be more than that. He won't be another Pjanic, Marchisio, Pogba, Vidal, Khedira, etc. He can just be a solid guy to have around.

I'd rather have us bet on players that have hope to be something more.

I just have the big feeling that if Can comes, he will be the "main" midfield signing of the summer. That's my problem with it. I haven't accepted that reality yet.
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Post by Luca Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:37 am

That's a depressing thought [Can being our main and possibly only midfield signing of the summer].

I will fight against that thought until the window closes Molenation

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Post by juvealbanian Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:56 am

I wouldn't change Pjanic for Verratti.

I have nothing against Ital-Juve identity but as long as it means we'll take a gamble on Bernardeschi's level of talent and not buying all Stururus of Serie A.
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