Wednesday July 5 2017
Few Alex Sandro alternatives

Lack of decent alternatives alone should force Juve to keep Alex Sandro, writes Gregory Caltabanis.

Since returning to the pinnacle of Italian football, Juventus have been active players on the transfer market, snapping up some of the world’s premier talents for cut-rate prices. Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Kingsley Coman are just a few players that spring to mind when thinking about Giuseppe Marotta’s Bosman bargains.

What separates the good sporting directors from the great ones and frankly, the good teams from the great ones, is their ability to hold on to their best players. Juventus have learned this lesson the hard way in recent times and have lost key players every summer for the past three seasons. For a side twice close to European glory, the constant upheaval has arguably been a massive hindrance.

Juventus are very clear with their selling policy: If you want to leave, you can. Over the last few seasons, Marotta has often cited “the player’s will” as the over-arching reason why he has sold his side’s key players. It was the case for Arturo Vidal. It was the case for Pogba. And shortly, it will likely be the case for Alex Sandro, who’s rumoured to be on the way to Chelsea for €70m. While the Bianconeri have astutely replaced their departed stars and have typically acted diligently with their profits, the case of Alex Sandro is a unique one.

Unlike forwards and midfielders, quality full-backs are few and far between in the modern game and aren’t frequently available. After releasing Dani Alves for free, Juventus cannot afford to lose Alex Sandro, even for the reported €70m. Should the former Porto full-back follow his compatriot to the Premier League, the Italian champions will have lost one of the world’s best fullback duos and will struggle immensely to replace them.

At the moment, the names being touted to replace the Brazilian full-backs are quite frankly underwhelming. Real Madrid’s Danilo is being strongly pursued for the right-back spot, while Matteo Darmian, Leonardo Spinazzola (already on their books, albeit on loan to Atalanta) and Mattia De Sciglio have all been linked in light of the recent Alex Sandro news. Even if Chelsea are handing Juve are small war chest for the 26-year-old, the lack of alternatives is truly worrying.

Spinazzola had a fantastic break-out season for Atalanta, but there’s no denying that he’ll be a significant step down from Alex Sandro and will hurt the Bianconeri in the long run in the Champions League. In addition, the Atalanta man benefitted greatly from Gian Piero Gasperini’s offensive 3-4-3, which gave him license to attack while reducing his defensive responsibilities. De Sciglio and Darmian, by contrast, are two players whose careers have stalled at their respective clubs after showing early, promising signs. The reality is that none of the potential replacements can realistically replace Alex Sandro’s offensive and defensive output.

If Juve are truly serious about winning the Champions League, like they say are, they absolutely cannot sell Alex Sandro. After all, almost any replacement that’s brought in, bar Marcelo, will be a downgrade. Simply put, the dearth of quality full-backs on the market is enough reason alone to keep the Brazilian. When you consider the fact that Juve’s window to win Europe’s elite competition is soon closing, it wouldn’t make much sense to part ways with a full-back who’s currently in his prime and will only get better. It’s now time for Marotta and co. to prove their Champions League aspirations are more than just talk and finally put their foot down.

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Have your say...
@Vini The Pogba sale always made sense due to the money involved and the fact that as good as he is, he's no world beater. But, Vidal... I know he wanted to go but Juve still haven't replaced his energy. His sale is the worst of the lot.
on the 9th July, 2017 at 4:43pm
Stay Sandro.
on the 7th July, 2017 at 10:25pm
You let go another world star. I never liked Marotta even though he has done some wonders in the market. The guy simply does not have the Perez's winning mentality. I don't even like Allegri's mentality. No matter what world class players we might buy, the guy does not have the balls to win that damn Cup. If we sell Sandro, no matter what we bring in, the style of playing will be the same anyway. Dull, effective but not effective enough to win CL, and that is not good enough after 21 years now.
on the 7th July, 2017 at 5:34pm
I really don't care if they sell Sandro or not! The damage was done already. We allowed one of the best prospects in the world in the midfielding position to a club that wasn't even playing CL football. Before that we sold the best defending/attacking midfielders in the world. Vidal&Pogba was the stupidest decisions ever and I was screaming when those sales happened. I don't get the logic behind that. You loose a final and then you let go three important players. Then the following year you....
on the 7th July, 2017 at 5:31pm
Alex Sandro can't defend, Alex Sandro only became the starter when Viera left (Evra?)...just makin things up.

Marcelo is by far the best in the world. I'd still rank Alaba ahead of Sandro, for now. Marcelo past his prime? Oy
on the 7th July, 2017 at 4:35pm
Juve would be taking a huge step back letting Sandro go. The reason they've been offered 70 mil is due to the fact there are no other top fullbacks available right now. They've just earned a huge amount from the UCL and shouldn't even be listening to offers for their top players, you think Madrid would even consider letting Marcelo go. They need to act like they are THE top club or they never will be.
on the 7th July, 2017 at 3:45pm
I really do agree with all opinions "sell Alex Sandro" or "keep Alex Sandro". However, I do not personally support selling Alex Sandro, but if the best offer comes in it is better to let it go. But the question is what is the best offer then. 70 ml Euros are good or not? I think 80 ml would be good enough although we dream to win CL. If I were in charge and only in case I can acquire both José Gayá for 25-30 ml and Raphael Guerreiro for 25-30 ml I would sell Alex Sandro for 80 ml. Fits the bill!
on the 6th July, 2017 at 8:02pm
Strengthening the squad is replacing the weakest of one of your core 11 players on the field with someone better not replacing good players just for the sake of more money and taking gambles on other players. That's not strengthening. I just find the comment from Marotta always "if the player wants to leave we just let him go", to be weak. Instead, Marotta should say "the player is a greedy SOB and we don't think he's worth it". If he is however, fight for his ass and move on.
on the 6th July, 2017 at 6:27pm
@NVD what exactly do you mean by that the team was strengthen? We lost Tevez, Pirlo and Vidal in a single season and we didn't break into the champions league semi. We then sold Pogba for a 100m to grab Piguan for 90m and only to lose in another final! When you meant strengthening, shouldn't it be achieving greater heights? Then why are we still losing the gawd damn final if we had strengthen the squad?! Elaborate please ...
on the 6th July, 2017 at 8:41am
People saying Sandro couldn't defend doesn't watch Juve game at all. Sandro is capable of defending just as he is capable of attacking. You know why MDS is only worth 15m and nobody wants him? Because he is garbage and is currently in his rightful place. We have a star-studded u21 Azzurri, big names in Serie A and was swiped by the Spanish. The Italians are overhyped these days and until they win something major I wouldn't recommend any Italian unless they come for absolute nothing!
on the 6th July, 2017 at 8:34am
No Alex Sandro alternatives. Simple as that. Certainly not the garbage I'm hearing about - Darmian and De Sciglio are 2 incredibly dull and talentless players who, if they weren't Italian, would not in a million years be being linked with us.

Sandro isn't sold for any price. You think real madrid sell Marcelo if City offer 100m? No chance
on the 6th July, 2017 at 8:13am
Every player has a price and if they want to leave, then sell and move on. Zidane, Vidal and Pogba - every time a star is sold the team was strengthened.

I do agree Alex Sandro has been phenomenal, but if he does want to leave I'd much rather a hungry player and money to strengthen the squad going forward.

Yes we want to win now, but I do not believe our window is closing. We have very promising players on our books as well - Barca, Bayern and Real also have key players aging, Forza JUVE!
on the 6th July, 2017 at 5:35am
The folks here saying he can't defend, go watch again. He single handedly took Messi out of the match in the first and second leg. He's aggressive and a very good defender, who's only going to get better. As for his replacement?...unless you sign Marcelo, there isn't one.
on the 5th July, 2017 at 9:56pm
70 million is a ton of cash for a guy who can't defend for his life. Let De Sciglio connect again with his former mentor and the BBC can teach him the ways, better for both club and national team. You'll see
on the 5th July, 2017 at 9:07pm
Guys, there is no one better at this time at the LB position than Alex Sandro. Do we cash in and bring in a youth and/or cheaper option to build for the future, OR, do we want to win the CL NOW ?? We are a good CM away from doing that, we lose Sandro and we are taking steps backwards....
on the 5th July, 2017 at 9:03pm
I would take 70 million. He's good - but let Chelsea pay 70 M.
on the 5th July, 2017 at 5:48pm
I don't see where is his defensive power, most of the goals juve conceded were due to Sandro bad cover and being where he should be. If you say his offensive contribution is great, 3 assists per season aren't worth 70M and his 6 goals weren't anything decisive. Sandro didn't push viera out, viera was always first choice until he asked for a longer extension that juve refused to give so he walked out and Sandro found himself is the seat of starts just because his sub is the underpar asamoah
on the 5th July, 2017 at 2:25pm
Dani Alves gone and Sell Alex Sandro. Hes a defensive liability and inconsistent in attack. Use the 60m to regenerate both full back positions.

Bring back Spinazzola and sign Barecca from Torino - providing youthful competition and quality at left back. Keep Lichtensteiner for his experience and quality and sign a younger right back (Not Danilo). Conti yet to sign for Milan would be a great addition and Serge Aurier might be worth a gamble.
on the 5th July, 2017 at 2:00pm
Its not few alternatives, its absolute no alternative. Juve must not part ways with Sandro. He is currently the best left-back. Marcelo is the only guy who can do well to replace him but he is about to past his prime.
on the 5th July, 2017 at 10:40am
If Sandro does leave, does that mean Marcos Alonso will be on the bench at Chelsea?

6 goals to Sandro's 3 and 3 to 4 assists.

Juve could do worse than him, though whomever they get, it'll probably be a step down.

Alonso and Darmian might do well at Juve, though, and would cost less combined than Sandro.
on the 5th July, 2017 at 7:10am
on the 5th July, 2017 at 6:57am
I wouldn't be surprised if another player does well away from milan. So why take the risk? Milan should send him abroad rather than strengthening their rivals and Juve should grow a pair and keep their best players. Sure money is a factor and Serie a doesn't have much compared to others (although milan now seem flush) but another factor is also the challenge. If I was Juve player I probably would want to try another challenge given how easy the last 6 years have been.
on the 5th July, 2017 at 3:24am
It just shows the state of Italian football. Juve, embarrassingly champions 6 times in a row, lose their top players to other European clubs and then just help themselves to players from their supposed domestic rivals. It's a farce. Other Italian teams should not be selling their players to Juve and the European finalists should be able to keep their top players. How is this difficult to understand? Milan could have permanently wrecked De Sciglio after years of mismanagement but equally I
on the 5th July, 2017 at 3:16am

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