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Saturday August 3 2019
Juve's Joya short-lived

Paulo Dybala arrived in a blaze of glory and certainly had some highlights, but Elio Salerno feels La Joya never quite delivered on his Juventus promise.

Rewind to June 4, 2015 where a baby-faced Paulo Dybala was in the process of completing his dream move to Italian champions Juventus from mid-table Serie A side Palermo. The transfer fee was sizeable for the then 21-year-old Argentine starlet, €32m payable over four years with potential for a further €8m in bonuses to be included.

Paulo had been in Sicily since 2012 and during that time developed a reputation for being one of the most exciting young talents in Calcio. Prior to joining the Turin giants, Dybala had just put the finishing touches on his most productive campaign for the Rosanero when helping himself to an impressive 13 goals and 10 assists.

If there were any doubts over Juve’s hefty investment in ‘La Joya’, he quickly set about proving why the Bianconeri had shelled out millions to make him at that time the third most expensive purchase in their history.

Entering as a second-half substitute in the Supercoppa Italiana against Lazio, the No 21 rocketed a first time shot into the roof of the net from around 12 yards out after receiving a bouncing pass from a certain Paul Pogba. It’s a goal that will have Juventini reminiscing and a combination that Manchester United fans will hope to see replicated in the near future.

By the end of his first two seasons in black and white, ‘Paulino’ had registered 42 goals and 18 assists in 94 games across all competitions. Firmly cementing himself his as a pivotal player in the team while establishing an instant connection with those in the stands. Dybala was lighting up the Allianz Juventus Stadium in a way that supporters watching perhaps hadn’t seen since the days of the iconic Alessandro Del Piero.

There was a sense of expectation when Dybala had possession. A gifted technician capable of changing an attack in a magical phase of play. He was often seen wriggling away from pressure or ghosting past defenders, making the most of his agility and expert close control/dribbling skills. Supportive in the build-up, he would drop deep to help progress play, and in the final third he showed a complete attacking make-up.

A creative spark, Dybala regularly carved out chances for his teammates with inventive play, and when he was not creating, he was busy scoring. Lethal around the penalty area, the former Instituto forward is clinical from a variety of ranges and was often seen wheeling away in celebration after dispatching another superbly executed free-kick.

Paulo Dybala was Juve’s jewel. The football world was watching and in 2017 when he claimed the iconic No 10 jersey, the hope was that PD10 would go on to reach legendary status like many of those who had previously donned that special title.

Acquiring one of football’s most famous shirts was not lost on Dybala, who stated at the time it was "a childhood dream come true” and how the No 10 would bring an “even stronger commitment inside of me to bring my team to victory in every game, in every competition and for every trophy."

La Joya was inspirational during the 2017-2018 season. Carrying his team at times he would produce his best campaign yet when recording 26 goals and seven assists in 46 outings. After three years in Turin, Dybala’s numbers were impressive: 68 goals and 25 assists in 140 appearances were accompanied by eight trophies and a number of individual awards.

Dybala seemingly had the football world at his feet. His global brand was expanding along with his trademark “Dybala Mask” celebration. With Cristiano Ronaldo arriving last year, Paulo was expected to reach new heights. Despite his performances tailing off prior to CR7’s arrival, much of that was put down to Juve’s functionality and lack of fluidity. 

Following a disappointing 2018 World Cup in Russia, his return to the north of Italy for the new season was hotly anticipated. Dybala and Ronaldo were predicted to form the most feared attack in Europe, making La Vecchia Signora favourites for the Champions League. Instead La Joya’s slump continued, the partnership never materialised as expected and Dybala was left marginalised.

Former boss Max Allegri attempted on numerous occasions to find room in his team for Dybala, but despite Max’s best efforts, La Joya’s influential powers were draining away and the unstoppable strike force never transpired. 

Unsurprisingly, Dybala’s best performances came when his superstar Portuguese teammate was out of the side. This left the 25-year-old free to dominate and manipulate the attack as he liked, proving that when Dybala is at the centre of proceedings, he is unplayable.

By the end of last term, Dybala had become a peripheral figure in every way. No longer a guaranteed starter, and in the eyes of many had fallen behind Mario Mandzukic, Federico Bernardeschi and eventually Moise Kean. No longer unsellable for the club, the directors were opening the door for his potential exit, but for the fans, the appointment of Maurizio Sarri was seen as a lifeline for the Paulino they know and adore.

Now just a few weeks into Sarri’s tenure, it appears that the belief in Dybala from those on the inside has completely dissolved. For Juventini, Dybala’s star still shines bright. As fans they appreciate his loyalty, his undeniable talent and recognise what he has given for the shirt. The feeling is mutual, and this transfer will come as a bitter pill to swallow for all.

Paulo Dybala will be remembered fondly in Turin. At times he was captivating, leaving those watching in awe, but he will also vacate with a feeling of what if? La Joya will leave Juventus with everyone feeling that this journey is incomplete, that they didn’t achieve everything they could together.  

Have your say...
To all that say that managing a squad that suits Ronaldo is wrong - look at what he did in Real and what they accomplished year after year. So it's not a bad idea short-term if Juve want CL. Serie A can be won with the B team.
on the 8th August, 2019 at 9:51am
Ronaldo is going to destroy Juventus. Instead of playing to a system, a formation, in which their natural abilities will come to the fore without much ado, the players will play to suit him. This is a major constraint. I am tired of rallying support from Juve fans for Dybala not to leave. The club will self destruct this season. If Dybala leaves then Paratici too should leave.
on the 7th August, 2019 at 2:18pm
When you told your team to play for CR7, to sacrifice their position and chances to score so they can let CR7 score, not just Dybala was affected. The whole team were. No one else got double digits. CR7 second season would be better for all as the pressure to prove it a good investment has been lifted. Focus will be on Sarri now and Juve will play more like a team. Let Dybala prove himself this season. If Higuain, Cuadrado, Khedira can stay, why not La Joya?
on the 6th August, 2019 at 5:42pm
and to put paid to this highly stimulating exchange,please quit arguing - you don't know how to debate an issue so try and stand down as i will do after this reply. nothing of what you wrote is untrue it just misses the point by a wide mile. think on that before succumbing to your persecution complex.
'pure hate'?
'salty tears'?
you having a laff?
on the 5th August, 2019 at 11:50pm
@Rrrrrr it's cute you call yourself a serie a lover or more precisely not a juve hater... when it's clear you have nothing but pure hate being spewed through you asinine comments.

The best part is this expert editorial is just mental waste, as Dybala never intended to leave, and he won't.

Just hot air from the behinds of all tabloids and FI.

Keep hating, your salty tears will sweeten our victory even more!

Fino Alla Fine!
on the 4th August, 2019 at 7:44pm
80+ M for Lukaku ?!
He doesn't have half of the Talent that Higuaín has.

People laughed when Juve paid 90 for Pipita. Well, Juve paying 80+ for that stooge is really laughable.
on the 4th August, 2019 at 4:43pm
Rubbish.

The Clown turned World Class Dybala into a Central Midfielder to collect loose balls, and a Deadly Finisher in Higuaín to Playmaker for Mandy.

Dybala + Higuaín could have done everything if they were deployed correctly.

The Clown would've turned Messi to a Defensive Midfielder and made Khedira his Captain.
on the 4th August, 2019 at 4:40pm
hey small-minded Pinturrichio, i'll write it again cuz you posted the same angst again - its not journalism, FI publishes editorials. save your moral indignation for climate change, unlawful child labour. And, spare us all the 'you don't get it!!' reply. we get it. you are transparent and your argument is not that complex. just stop clogging the comment section is all.
not a juve hater or a fan especially. just enjoy sporting discourse.
on the 4th August, 2019 at 3:30pm
Dybala is an immense talent. I note that confidence is not his strong point. In the past under Allegri he has been asked to do all things, to be a jack of all trades. Be a striker, winger (left/right), creative midfielder while also asked to put in a sizable shift in the defensive phase.
He has been touted as the next Messi but has not reached that level and perhaps nobody ever will but Messi just does one job. His only job is to create goals in which ever way he chooses.Give Dybala the same job
on the 4th August, 2019 at 10:35am
Dybala still have so much to give and are still young. It’s madness to sell him. I understand the “Lukaku” idea because the CR7 can go frem left like when he did that with Benzema at Real. But why build around CR7. He’s 34. I don’t care what people think. He’s one of the best ever. I know. Doesn’t hold me back from thinking I would prefer he left and Juve was going for a trident under Sarri with Dybala-Icardi-Costa... Next year Chiesa and Bernadeschi is still there too if Costa’s form is bad::
on the 4th August, 2019 at 6:51am
Dybala, needs to stay at Juve not just this season but for the long term. As much as I'm a Juve fan I do not believe they can win UCL and that said CR7 is the one that should leave. He has turned this club upside down and stupid is Andrea Agnelli and company to listen to CR7, he is a player one of 18+ who makes up this story team. How can an organization allow one player to make suggestions and descisions on who to buy/sell. if there is anyone to blame for Dybala its Allegri he DESTROYED HIM.
on the 4th August, 2019 at 4:05am
Don't sell visionary pacy Dybala for clumsy Lukaku =(
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 10:52pm
Better a Dybala with vision and pace than clumsy Lukaku. Don't sell him Juve.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 10:07pm
@Why
We'll see;) Quit smoking 11 years ago, c'mon:) Lukaku is my bet for 40 goals for Juventus all round! You in? I drink beer, 6x Carlsberg is it fair enough?
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 7:54pm
@Cetateanu' you must be delusional if you think Lukaku will score 35 goals

what you smoking?
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 1:43pm
Dybala needs to reject Man Utd as there is no chance that they make it to CL spots again last season and he will effectively be going to a side fighting for UEL qualification at best.
Although my opinion is of course biased as an Interista, I do believe an Icardi-Dybala swap makes the most sense for both Inter and Juventus.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 1:08pm
Maybe he hasn't quite hit the heights he could have, but Allegri playing him out of position didn't help either.

And if Juve think selling Kean and Dybala and acquiring Lukaku and Higuain in their place is progress, then they've gone down the road of hairbrained transfers you'd expect from the two Milanese clubs.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 10:17am
Good player, but hardly a champion. Aside from the 2 goals vs Barcelona, goes missing in big Champions League games. Yes, possibly due to Allegri's terrible game, but Ronaldo didn't seem to suffer that. I think he should be sold to a Spanish team, let Juventus get a proper, 2 footed centreforward, who can score in more than one big game.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 8:21am
Absolute hogwash of an article.

But then FI are so obsessed with churning idiotic editorials at such pace and such ease it's not impossible that within a matter of 3 or 4 days two absolutely rubbish editorials have popped up targetting Juventus.

This site is slowly becoming a beacon for horrible pseudo-journalism...
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 8:12am
I am not against selling Dybala. But for Lukaku? Seriously?
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 6:14am
These Paratici Lukaku and Cancelo moves are reminiscent of how Monchi made Roma regress after getting to champs lig final with midfield of Strootman, naingollan and De Rossi then he woke up and sold 2 of them in one season thus returning Roma 5 years backwards. Juve will also regress with these transfers. One now wonders what more damage Paratici will do to Juve. He started well with Rabiot, did not like the Ramsey idea but it was not terrible. Lukaku and Cancelo are disasters! Plain to see.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 5:25am
I have really lost faith in Paratici in particular overnight after the Lukaku approach debacle and the Cancelo sale. The guy has improved vastly defensively and is world class going forward. Juve will struggle to find an apt replacement. These 2 moves are sheer madness from Juve.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 5:20am
While Dybala has a football brain, he lacks mental strength. . . But his natural position is 2nd striker nearer to goal and 4-3-3 does not suit him. If Sarri tries deploying 4-3-1-2, this boy with Ronaldo may form a feared strike force. The lukaku-swap madness has reduced my confidence in Paratici in conceiving it and Agnelli for not vetoing it.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 5:16am
He needs a chance with Sarri. He STILL has too much potential and talent to be swapped for Lukaku. I love the guy to death. But after this season if he hasn't performed then maybe it's time to go. However the Ronaldo affect has come into full effect.. if the team wants to succeed he needs to realize that he is 34 years old.. the team will have to move on when he goes and he has a great opportunity to start that with his knowledge of how to win in big moments.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 4:55am
And that is why Dybala must reunite with Marotta at Inter to prove Juventus wrong and become a Nerazzurri legend so that this decision must be regretted by everyone who was behind this axing.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 4:42am
Dybala is a quality player but he is not the level of messi or neymar or c ronaldo. He can sometimes play crap and go missing in important matches. If Juventus want to sell him they should go for ICARDI which will be the best transfer deal.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 12:51am
I'd seen this movie, many times. You're right, I said it myself, Dybala messed up our gameplay last season, and doesn't fit with CR7 in more than one system. "Two swords in the same sheath", perhaps. Anyway, Juventus (Juventini) will not regret Dybala. Too strong for that, we're not... Roma;) We didn't regret nor Thierry Henry, nor... Diego.
I say that I welcome Lukaku, wish for 35+ goals per season (have a trust in him), and best of luck for Dybala!
Greetings from Romania!
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 12:46am

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