Saturday January 27 2018
Pellegri right to choose Monaco

Pietro Pellegri’s decision to choose Monaco over Juventus was the best fit for his present and future, argues Matthew Santangelo.

There are echoes of Marco Verratti about the news Pietro Pellegri is heading to Monaco. While at the time of his move to Paris Saint-Germain, Verratti had never even played in Serie A, Genoa striker Pellegri already has three top flight goals in eight games under his belt, despite not turning 17 until March.

Juventus had entered into advanced negotiations after Milan and Inter interest a few months back, but ultimately Pellegri made the right decision.

There is no better club in world football for developing youth than Monaco, where the likes of Kylian Mbappé have been allowed to thrive and move on to bigger things. There will be relatively little pressure on Pellegri in the Principality, he’ll have the option of Champions League football and isn’t massively far away from his hometown of Genoa.

If Pellegri had gone to Juventus, he would’ve been placed in the Primavera youth team with the other teenagers, then no doubt loaned to a Serie B outfit or a side struggling against relegation. He’d get frustrated at going backwards in his career and before the age of 20 would be seeking a new challenge anyway. What’s the point?

Milan and Inter were no better, as the Rossoneri can’t even find room for €40m investment Andre Silva, let alone a 16-year-old, and the club is in a constant state of turmoil. The Nerazzurri have an excellent youth academy that churns out talents, none of which ever seem to make it into the senior squad.

Pellegri has already made a name for himself. He made his debut at the age of 15 years and 280 days, matching Amadeo Amadei’s all-time Serie A record, and scored his first goal on ‘Totti Day’ when almost ruining the captain’s Roma swansong by giving Genoa a shock early lead at the Olimpico in May 2017.

First under Ivan Juric, followed by Davide Ballardini, the 6ft 4in baby-faced Italian striker started to get a few more looks early on this season.

Impressively, the coveted centre-forward bagged a brace against Lazio back in September, demonstrating uncanny strength for a teenager his age and an unrelenting hunger to find the back of the net. At this point, although he wasn’t exactly a staple in the Rossoblu starting line-up, Pellegri showed tremendous growth, scoring two goals in six matches in just shy of 300 minutes of football.

Reports around Italy and France confirm Pellegri has chosen last season’s Champions League semi-finalists over the Italian club in a record-setting €25m move to the Stade Louis II. Under this pending switch, the wonder-kid is expected to earn €1m per year in wages. But certainly, there is more to Pellegri’s decision than meets the eye - and it’s likely not down to dollars and cents.

Juventus are financially independent, meaning they have the funds to pull off this move and could have likely matched what Monaco offered. However, the French side’s interest was overtly expressed not only in the complete economic package they submitted, but perhaps more importantly, the guarantees handed to him from a sporting sense with this impending move.

Monaco are constantly being raided of their top talent, and it’s because they are arguably unrivalled when it comes to nurturing young players and selling for a mass profit. Owner Dmitry Rybolovlev and manager Leonardo Jardim have built something special together at Monaco and understand how to win on the transfer front. This investment in Pellegri aligns with their club philosophy. By offering a high wage, better opportunity for minutes in a great environment for youth, and the guarantee of not being bounced around from club to club, it became an ideal fit.

Furthermore, at the tender age of 16, Pellegri can parlay this spell down the line into a return to Italy if he so wishes, or perhaps outside his home country - assuming he kicks on.

Some will say €25m is a risk for the Stade Louis II outfit, but their track record with these moves reaped tremendous rewards. Monaco, a hotbed for moulding youth and selling at a later date for an astronomical profit, win the sweepstakes for Pellegri, who also comes out with plenty of guarantees and a newly created limelight around his name in Europe.

Have your say...
A player, quite rightly, goes in most instances, where the money is.
Monaco offered Pellegri a much better contract, so it stands to reason that he joined them.
on the 30th January, 2018 at 4:21pm
The Caldara/Rugani model would have done well for him, sign for JUVE play a couple seasons at the club you came up with and then gradually be added into the team.

Bernardeschi seems to be on the Dybala model, recall how during his first campaign Dybala was gradually allowed to grow into a spot on the team.

Monaco and Dortmund get all these young players because they commit to playing them. Playing time should not be guaranteed for young players, it should be earned. JUVE is for winning first.
on the 29th January, 2018 at 7:14pm
Great transfer for Pietro, I wish him good luck and hope to see him back in Serie A when he becomes closer to a finished product. I am really happy that juBentus did not sign this promising forward, so my hopes are alive for him being a candidate to replace Icardi in the following decade.
on the 29th January, 2018 at 10:44am
Juve were right to be in interested in him but only at the right price and salary, Monaco was truly the right destination for him as he will get playing time there and if he starts to flourish he can be bought by better teams in Italy or else where. as everyone knows coaches in Italy are under so much pressure to win it's unforturnately not the right atmosphere for for 16 17 18 year olds to play great money and great move as monaco will want to give him every chance to receive a profit from him
on the 28th January, 2018 at 11:16pm
When it's all said and done, how could Pellegri refuse 5 million a year?
That's a lot of cash, even if he doesn't play straightaway.
If he proves his worth at Monaco, so be it!
If he doesn't he'll have plenty of money for the rest of his life.

Incidentally, he was hardly getting a look in at Genoa, 3 goals in 9 appearances............
on the 28th January, 2018 at 12:50am
he should have rather stayed at Genoa for the coming 2 seasons. he would hv got continuous playing time and that would have allowed him to grow. at Monaco he would be a sub after Falcao.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 9:42pm
It sucks for Italian football again another of it best young players goes aboard rather than playing for a Italian club. To be honest i don't blame him whats on offer a serious on loan moves and than some bench time. Monaco has produced the likes of mbappe and carrasco the average age of the starting 11 is 27 6 of whom are under the age of 25. It is even more annoying that genoa seem to consistently sell players jezz he is just starting his career try and hold onto him for a little bit.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 5:52pm
Will he be a starter at Monaco? The author seems to be sure of that but we don't really know yet.. We don't even know if he will be accustomed to the French league.

Also, why would you assume that Juve will loan him to a Serie B team? Juve would most likely loan him back to Genoa (like Caldara and Spinazzola and others). And even if not, many Serie A clubs would be glad to have his services where he would be a regular.

Clubs like Juve cannot afford to field such youngsters in the midst of a scudetto battle or in European football. They will continue to develop somewhere else, then later will be integrated into the team slowly but surely.

This is only a good move for him if he is used regularly at Monaco.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 2:47pm
It is sad to see another great young Italian talent leave the country to receive playing time in the big leagues elsewhere. When will these Italian youngsters rather than foreigners be given playing time from Seria A top teams? Have we not yet learned from our World Cup exit?
on the 27th January, 2018 at 1:43pm
He is a wannabe that can not cut it at a top team in Italy so he goes to France to make himself look good he will be on the bench and no one will remember him stay were u r and make your self non or else you will just b a has being
on the 27th January, 2018 at 1:18pm


Would you rather have Dybala, Higuain, Douglas, Bernardeschi, Mandzukic, Cuadrado, Kean and Pjaca or Pellegri (?????) ?
Nuff said!
on the 27th January, 2018 at 12:54pm
Good decision. I am sick to see Juve wasting another Italian young talents. I hope Berna go somewhere too next year. Juve will only use aging Italians regularly. Young talents will die miserably.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 10:11am
As a Juventus tifoso, I think he made the right choice. At Monaco he will surely get his playing time to help him become a great forward. I just hope he returns to Serie A one day, let it be Inter, Roma, Napoli, Juventus or Milan. After all Monaco is the grooming place for youngsters. They quite seem to be the ideal place to become a star. Good luck Pietro
on the 27th January, 2018 at 9:42am
It’s a shame when a talented young Italian feels that they need to go abroad to get a fair shake rather than going to one of Italy’s biggest clubs. If this was a one off event that would be tolerable, but I see this being the way of the future as Italian clubs have no time for young Italian talent but will give the world to a young foreigner of lesser talent. The mentality change in Italian football has to begin with the clubs. Gravina over Tomassi? Really? It will be a long road to recovery.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 5:47am
This is an unbelievable miss by Juventus. Very frustrating as a fan to read that even though his the player and family preferred Juventus, we didn't put the money up.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 5:28am
I believe Juve would have loaned him straight back to Genoa rather than anywhere else (similar to the Caldara move). That would have been good for his development to. But I don't blame him for choosing Monaco.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 5:06am
Juventus is a horrible place for Italian youngsters. There's no point going there with Moise Kean still on their ranks and his career would have stalled like Rugani a few years ago. There's no beating game time for youth players. Pogba wouldn't have gotten as good as he is if he hadn't played regularly and Rugani would've become a better defender by now had he not spent too much time on the bench for dinosaurs like Barzagli and Chiellini. Great choice for Pellegri.
on the 27th January, 2018 at 4:15am
If it happens, then Pellegri is 100% very lucky to accept, as quickly as he possibly can, a mega huge contract worth 5 millions a year.
As far as Juve's situation in this, well........ when you already have Dybala, Higuain, Douglas, Bernardeschi, Mandzukic, Cuadrado, Kean and Pjaca, I guess that it's very easy to say........ WE SAVED A LOT OF MONEY!
Plenty other fish in the sea..........
Anyway, much better to go and buy established Top Players, given our elite status!
on the 27th January, 2018 at 3:03am

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