BLOG ITALIA
Wednesday August 27 2014
Adiós Ogbonna?

Amid reports of interest from Sevilla, Juventus are seemingly willing to sell Angelo Ogbonna. Luca Persico suggests that might be best for all concerned.

It has been a tough 12 months for Angelo Ogbonna. Signed from city rivals Torino for a reported fee of €13m last July, the 26-year-old struggled to make an impact in his debut season at Juventus.

In total, Ogbonna was given 25 appearances, but only 16 of those came in Serie A. Antonio Conte, understandably, chose to rely on his preferred back three of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, while Martin Caceres, was his first reserve.

For Ogbonna, it was a campaign where he learnt, grew into the system and found his feet at Italy’s biggest club. Certainly, he made mistakes - see his performance at Sassuolo - but largely held his own and even played as a full-back against Real Madrid.

Now, with a season under his belt, he should be ready to step up, yet Juventus are seemingly willing to let him go, for the right price.

“We never thought of letting Ogbonna go on loan, nor did we consider the possibility of losing him,” noted sporting director Fabio Paratici on Tuesday.

“If someone wants him, they have to make us a formal offer worth €15m. He has a contract until 2018 and will not be sold for less than €15m.”

Paratici’s stance sums up Ogbonna’s status at Juventus - he can stay, but if we can get our money back, we are happy to sell.

That reasoning may seem quite ruthless, but is understandable, with Ogbonna at a crossroads in his career. If the Cassino native has another mixed campaign, then his value will drop and Juventus would have to accept a loss on him. If he steps up, they get a dependable defender, who can become a stalwart.

Selling him now for around the fee he was signed for would allow Juventus to cover both eventualities and not really lose out either way. The question now is how much they back him.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri is believed to have requested a new central defender, which would suggest he is not keen on Ogbonna.

Regardless of whether the tactician wants to play a back three or a back four, there is no need for a new central defender, unless one is leaving.

The opportunity to recoup €15m, bring in a proven, short-term option like Benfica’s Luisao and reinvest in a young defender - or wait to see how Daniele Rugani develops at Empoli - must be tempting to Allegri, and director general Giuseppe Marotta, particularly if the former is uncertain about Ogbonna.

At this stage in his career, the new season will be vital to the stopper’s chances of establishing himself and returning to the national team. Ogbonna is clearly a capable defender, but if he’s not trusted by Allegri and if someone is willing to match Juventus’ valuation, then a sale may be best for all concerned.

Such a decision might be one that the Bianconeri go on to regret, but on balance it is perhaps the most logical.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
Well, so much for this garbage, huh? Ogbanna started in the first game of the season and looked very strong.
on the 31st August, 2014 at 8:42pm
Maldini's heir...if those players were playing today, I think they'd get their chances. It's not as if every player in Juve's and Milan's current team are world class players.

Not sure Ogbonna would play any more in either of those teams you mentioned though. I like the guy and he deserves more chances. But to displace a starter is not easy.
on the 28th August, 2014 at 6:34pm
For balance here is the Juve team from 96 CL final:

Peruzzi, Torricelli, Ferrara, Vierchowod, Pessotto, Conte, Sousa, Deschamps, Ravanelli, Vialli, Del Piero

Again Peruzzi, Torricelli, Ferrara, Vierchowod, Pessotto, Conte, Ravanelli world class? Would they have made it today?
on the 28th August, 2014 at 11:12am
This is the "Great" Milan team from 89/90 CL Final:

Galli, Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini, Ancelotti, Colombo, Rijkaard, Evani, van Basten, Gullit

Of that team the only world class players were Baresi, Maldini and the 3 Dutch men.

Would Galli, Tassotti, Costacurta, Colombo and Evani been given a chance by Milan today?
on the 28th August, 2014 at 11:08am
Having said that if you think back to when Serie A (now with just 2 teams in the CL) was the best league in Europe we had players like Eranio, Evani and Massaro at Milan and Torricelli, Tacchinardi and Pessotto at Juventus and Inter had Italian players too. There is a place in successful teams for average players. The key is confidence and team unity. Would Ogbonna have played more regularly in a top team in Serie A's heyday in the 90s? I think yes. My god Napoli were depressing.
on the 28th August, 2014 at 9:50am
I am not sure how people are forming these opinions of Ogbonna. Surely he has to play regularly first? Having said that in fairness to Juventus its not like they did a Milan and signed 9 players for 3 positions. Ogbonna was competing with an elbow happy Chiellini, an injured Barzagli, an off form Bonucci and ahem Caceres and still only played 16 games. That doesn't say much.
on the 28th August, 2014 at 9:43am
Will we ever stop judging a player after one season with a new club ? Especially one in which he barely had any continuity ?
on the 28th August, 2014 at 9:25am
Another example of a player who does well with a more mid-table club and probably should have stayed there. I understand the appeal of Juve, but some players thrive in a particular environment where they can lead and stay in form.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 9:25pm
Juve had only planned to keep half of Immobile regardless of the deal for Ogbonna. So judge Ogbonna only on the cash value of the deal. So if Juve do indeed recoup 15m from a potential sale, that would be acceptable from a business perspective. I personally like Ogbonna though, so I hope he stays. But if the money can be reinvested wisely, I would definitely understand.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 7:34pm
Continued:
But that's not actually how these things work. If you remember, we bought back our half of Immobile from Genoa so we could include it in the deal for Ogbonna. If we hadn't done that, Immobile would have still been co-owned with Genoa, not fully owned by Juve. And in fact, sending him to Torino is what kick started his excellent form and increased his value in the first place. So in fact, the move was a master stroke by the front office.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 7:29pm
Pado...if we work out the math, Immobile was sold on a co-owership to Torino for 2.75m which paid for part of the Ogbonna move. Juve had to hand over a further 10.25m + 2m in bonuses. Immobile's value increased drastically to 19.5m. Our half of that should be approx 9.75m. Add that to the 2.75m we got for him, we made 12.5m on his sale. 7m less than we could have made. So now for arguments sake, lets say we paid the full bonus for Ogbonna. Selling for 15m means an overall 7m loss.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 7:19pm
I don't think that Ogbonna is a good player. Although, he has the physical ability to be a decent one, the lack of anticipation and awareness seem to be his biggest issues. I believe that Paratici is just bluffing, if he gets 7m€, Ogbonna will be sold immediately.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 6:41pm
Ogbonna is worthy of Juventus. He is a big talent who has the misfortune of arriving at s club that features the entire Italy defense. He did not simply cost Juve 13 Million, but also cost Juve Ciro Immobile as well. Letting Ogbonna go for 15 Million would be a huge front office failure.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 4:54pm
Galliani do something productive with the money we made from selling Balo and bring us a defender that can actually defend, ogbonna will do just fine for milan and italy.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 3:25pm
This might be his last season to prove himself. It would appear to me that he is too fragile mentally to play for a top club.
on the 27th August, 2014 at 2:57pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.