Wednesday August 19 2020
Why Juventus could sacrifice Dybala

Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t just signed for his football skills, but also what he brought to the club, and Kaustubh Pandey warns Paulo Dybala can’t match that.

It has become common knowledge to many that Juventus could sell Cristiano Ronaldo or Paulo Dybala this summer. This is a case of moving on one of the best players of this generation or selling perhaps their best performer in the 2019-20 season. That is always going to be easier said than done.

Over the last few years, clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United have taken criticism for mismanagement of fees, wages and for their inability to move players on at the right time. It has cost them in domestic and European football and their current situations clearly suggest that. Now Juve are treading on a similar path, stuck with high-earning has-been stars. As a result, there has been an increasing urge for the Old Lady to cut their squad back.

No-one really knows what Andrea Pirlo will bring to the table in a tactical sense. Indications are that the Italian would use a similar system to Maurizio Sarri’s 4-3-3, but the detailed nuances remain unclear. With no positions being fixed for any player, this comes as a good chance to re-evaluate and for Pirlo to build a team around his system and not the other way around. Sarri wasn’t always allowed that freedom, as the need for a revamp wasn’t realised.

Ronaldo was seen as the final piece of the jigsaw in what turned out to be Max Allegri’s last season in Turin. He was meant to be that missing part of a team that had aspirations to win the Champions League after having reached the final twice. That hasn’t quite happened, and the jigsaw seems further away than ever from completion.

That is down to Juve’s inability to move others on at the right time and sense the moment for transition. In terms of goals, Ronaldo has justified the fee that he arrived for, and if the revolution of the squad was carried out in the right way, Juve could have gone further in the Champions League in the last two seasons as well.

Dybala could have easily been at Manchester United or Tottenham at this point. Last summer, Juve saw him as a pawn to ease up the wage bill and get some money to bring someone like Mauro Icardi in. Contrary to what Juve wanted, Dybala was always insistent on staying (and still is). He knuckled down, worked his socks off and finished as the MVP of the entire Serie A season. That says a lot about the Argentine’s mentality - something Ronaldo himself could relate to.

Numbers wise, Dybala was the league’s most creative player after the Atalanta trio of Josip Ilicic, Ruslan Malinovskyi and Papu Gomez. That is a reflection of how Ronaldo may not have come so close to Ciro Immobile if not for Dybala’s creative abilities around him. That was under Sarri though, and Pirlo’s homecoming offers a fresh chance for the Bianconeri to throw the tactical nuances out of the window and address the financial stagnation in the team.

The main worry for Juve is that they have an ageing side with players that earn more than their potential worth. Ronaldo isn’t one of them. Douglas Costa is, Sami Khedira is and Blaise Matuidi was too - before his move to MLS. Even though those players are younger than Ronaldo, they don’t offer one crucial thing that Ronaldo still brings at 35. That isn’t scoring goals, leadership or the winning mentality. It is the marketability of himself and of Juventus as a club.

That marketability which he offers was one of the big reasons why Juve knocked on Jorge Mendes’ door in the summer of 2018. The Bianconeri’s thirst for becoming the superclub that Real Madrid or Barcelona were led them to sign Ronaldo too. He didn’t just bring the experience of winning the Champions League multiple times. His signing was meant to increase Juve’s ticket revenues and shirt-sales and the signing made an off-pitch impact too.

The Old Lady didn’t quite know what they were getting with Sarri in their hunt for Champions League glory and, in hindsight, it was a bad move. But Pirlo’s appointment could be another hint at Juve’s chase for marketability and the urge to become a superclub. A well-loved legend of the game will attract the eyeballs like Ronaldo’s signing did. That is again a hint of where Fabio Paratici, Pavel Nedved and Andrea Agnelli want to take the club. The image of Ronaldo is crucial to that path.

That isn’t disrespectful to Dybala at all. La Joya is a magical footballer and deserved to be called Juve’s best player last season too. But last summer was a clear reflection of how Paratici doesn’t see Dybala as an untouchable commodity, despite all the value that he carries on the pitch. He will never sell as many jerseys as Ronaldo.

To make matters worse, his wage demands are reportedly out of Juve’s limits and the contract renewal period couldn’t have come at a worse period for Dybala either. Juve want to lower their wage bill and with the effects of the pandemic rolling on, it will be pretty tough to stretch their limits. On top of that, his performances on the pitch can help Juve reap success like it did last season, but the direction Juve are heading into, other factors will be taken into consideration, and not all of them are about football.

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Have your say...
With Messi leaving Barca, and in case he would choose PSG, I would like Juve to bid for Icardi and Verratti: the team could play 3-4-2-1 with Szczesny, De Ligt-Bonucci-Demiral, Bernadeschi-Verratti-Bentancur-Chiesa, Dybala-Ronaldo, Icardi. The subs being: Buffon, De Sciglio-Rugani-Chiellini, Cuadrado-Artur-Rabiot-Sandro, Kulusevski-Fagioli, Kean. The exits: Higuain, Ramsey, Khedira, Douglas Costa, Danilo, Romero, Pellegrini. Ronaldo-Icardi-Dybala vs. Messi-Mbappe-Neymar for the CL throne.
on the 26th August, 2020 at 10:09am
"a good chance to re-evaluate and for Pirlo to build a team around his system and not the other way around." and that's one terrible advice. Provincial teams might operate like that because the budget is limited, number of competitions they are involved in are fewer and there's no high level talent to count on... Allegri's successful tenure was all because of his ability to build his tactics around what was available to him at any given period of the season.
on the 25th August, 2020 at 8:19pm
You can sacrifice Dybala, in the right conditions. Less a certain player but more certain playerS and to suit an approach. Juventus sold prime Zidane and brought in Buffon, Thuram and Nedved. Two seasons later they added Cannavarro.

But don't tell me that you're bringing in Pogba. Not if I'm a Juventus fan. If I'm a Serie A fan who has an understandable dislike of CR7, then yes, please. If I'm a United fan? Yes, please. If I'm stupid? Yes, please.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 1:59pm
lastly I believe Paratici is on his last life, this is the year where he pulls the right strings and offloads some baggage and acquires some usefulness for this squad or its lights out for him!! As he has had ample opportunity with this team and is now
with COVID upon us will have to spend wisely if he's not capable he will be the next one removed from this franchise Agnelli will not tolerate more blunders from him
on the 21st August, 2020 at 11:00pm
Juve need to address their midfield and their backs as we are definitely not CL quality in this aspect, i do believe Pirlo understands that this is the way forward, unfortunately for him Juve have a very bloated Payroll and desperately need to move players and raise funds, many posters here think this is a game of FIFA fantasy football where one can move salaries without issue...this is real COVID time and trying to move older bloated salaries is very difficult as every team is suffering
on the 21st August, 2020 at 10:53pm
Nobody wants to see Dybala sold as represents the youth and future of Juve, but one cannot expect 18 mill during these crazy times either! there are many others who juve would like to move first unfortunately they are tougher to deal and receive something proper in return for, If Juve can grab Pogba indirectly for his sale this would be a more useful addition to our present team, and I do believe Pirlo and Patrici are on the same page with this, as Dybala should lower his wage demands!
on the 21st August, 2020 at 10:42pm
Milan fan here.

I agree with @Juve Fan, CR7 had served his purpose already (marketability and selling shirts in addition to the goals he brought).IMHO, I see Dybala as the future of Juve, whom should actually build around, not to be the first one to be sold for generating more revenue.
on the 21st August, 2020 at 12:06pm
The 6th and 7th paragraph of your article are exactly WHY we should keep Dybala....
on the 20th August, 2020 at 4:16pm
I rate Dybala even if he lacks consistency and could not make the difference on top level. However, selling him seems to be a mistake. Ronaldo should be the one to be sold, but I guess nobody wants to take on that heavy bill - which actually generated the whole Dybala issue - asking for 15-20m/year, just because it`s possible at Piemonte Calcio.
on the 20th August, 2020 at 1:12pm
Selling ur more popular player to be more popular? Clearly the article doesn't give any hard evidence.
on the 20th August, 2020 at 6:28am
--I got so good at predicting what FI blogs talk about, just from glancing their heading, so I'm pretty sure I know what this writer wrote ...& I fully agree with him:
Juve should definitely sacrifice Dybala to Roma & pay half of his salary! It would make Roma stronger & the league more competitive.
Having a better Serie A should be in Juve's interest --This way more people would watch it, therefore, Juve would get more money!

I guessed the blog's content, right?
on the 19th August, 2020 at 11:36pm
Coming to the topic at hand, Dybala is the only proven star in Juve's attack that isnt past his prime so selling him makes no sense even if Kulusevski has the potential to build on his explosive season at Parma. But guess it will come down to finances as Juve needs money to change things given they are starting to resemble Inter in 2011 and need to chart a new course fast before the old men steer it into an iceberg.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 8:13pm
Although I am in Inter supporter, I believe Dybala is a mercurial talent. But I was really scratching my head when Dybala won best player in Serie A as the likes of Ilicic, Gomez and Luis Alberto clearly had better seasons and contributed more to their team's relative success. Giving him an award felt like Serie A choosing a more marketable poster child than the best player last season which definitely was not Dybala.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 8:09pm
Even if Juve sell Dybala, it's not like we are going to give Ausilio 115 million to spend on transfers so that he can buy 3 pieces of junk like Joao Mario, Gabi-one-gol and Kondogbia because if we had him at Juve then we better not sell because he will ruin the team AND get fired. On Other teams you waste that kind of money and you get a contract extension !
on the 19th August, 2020 at 7:51pm
Anyone could see his injury record would mean he would only play a handful of games. There is plenty of deadwood that can be gotten rid of that would not negate the quality of this team and would drastically lower the age and wage bill. If you want to talk about class players in a team and continued winning does this!! Even if they did sell him, they would have to shell out just as much money for an adequate replacement
on the 19th August, 2020 at 7:24pm
1. Not a great article. A question, do any of football Italia writers have any sources within clubs or are these blogs pure speculation because they certainly stink of that! I’m of the firm belief a club with lofty ambition needs a top manager (klopp/Liverpool, conte/inter) so while Pirlo may surprise me, I am sceptical. On the topic at hand, it absolutely baffles me that they would want to sell Dybala, the envy of many clubs I’m sure, when they have the likes of Ramsey on huge wages.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 7:20pm
dyabala is juve future sacrificing him is utterly reckless yes you would gain a significant financial return equally that is being swallowed up by a series of bench players on high salaries. if dybala leaves it has to be for the purpose of rejuvenating this group of players not to keep the likes of khedira, higuian and co on high salaries with little to no resale value.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 6:34pm
Makes no sense selling your better, younger players when you have so much dead wood in the team already. Juve have 3 other good players, Bentancur, De ligt, Rabiot(if he continues improve) and a few incoming players who remain unknown commodities. Sell Dybala and your down to 2-3 known good players and then you want to win CL? What a joke this mgmt has become. I don't even count Ronaldo as a good player because he doesn't improve the team. Very individualistic and a shirt seller only at his age.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 4:55pm
Is it the goal of Juventus to sell more shitrs or win championships? Keep Dybala (he is the future), sell the old wood-Ronaldo.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 3:29pm
If your primary goal in signing players is to increase revenue and brand recognition, then results on the field will be harder to come by. ...

If you are ridding yourself of valueable cornerstone players simply to lower your wage bill, then you sporting director needs to be replaced. ...

If you want to lower your wage bill, then stop bribing the referees for favourable calls on the field. This, however, may detrimental to your Scudetto winning streak.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 3:06pm
This is the worst thing I've ever read. Ronaldo needs to go for football AND monetary reasons. The fact is he has served his commercial purpose already. Keeping him around for two year to retire (or leave) will cost 60m euro (in wages over 2 seasons) + the 50m euro fee they could get from him to recoup some of their capital. Thats 110m euro, which is more than what they'd be able to sell Dybala for, who of which is a better player and will still be marketable for the next 8 years, not 2.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 3:03pm
@Juve fan since 1994; yes mandzukic and cuadrado defended in the 4231 system. I wouldn't expect Ronaldo to come back and defend like mandzukic. maybe kulusevski or bernardeshi can defend and attack but the difference is in midfield. Arthur and bentencur can cover more ground than khedira and pjanic. the 4231 would be the perfect solution for this team. I hope pirlo sees this instead of trying the 433. Ronaldo can play on his favourite left wing and dybala centrally behind the main striker.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 2:59pm
He doesn't have the same marketing effect as Ronaldo. So at this point I would like to sell him if that means we can upgrade the midfield with Aouar and SMS/Pogba for example. With other exchanges we can get Lacazette and Gosens.
Gosens-De Ligt-Bonucci-Cuadrado-Rabiot-Aouar/Bentancur-SMS-Ronaldo-Lacazette-Kulushevski seems much balanced and complete in both phases.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 2:31pm
were the wins against Barcelona and Tothenham. Not a lot for 12mln salary. About the penalties - he missed 2 last minute penalties before ROnaldo came and missed in the final with Napoli this year. He doesn't have the nerves to be first choice. He is young but Ronaldo has 2 more years in his legs, we can't pay Dybala 12 mln/y and waiting for him after the retirement of Ronaldo. I like him but at this point he can't give us what we need - he is not a striker, he is not right winger
on the 19th August, 2020 at 2:10pm
2. After reaching 2 CL finals over 3 years, Juventus invested heavily the following season in a bid to win it - 150m euros net spend which included Ronaldo - but it didn't pay off. Consequently, most likely due to FFP, they are having to offload the few players they have with a high resale value, as they don't have many. Those that wonder why they sold Cancelo for Danilo, there's your answer. Dybala and De Ligt are probably the only players that can command over 50m.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 2:05pm
Playing both will be difficult. The club needs to increase revenue and that is what Ronaldo did - after he came Adidas and Jeep doubled the money they give to us, Juve is the 3rd most popular team on social media with doubled followers afr Ronaldo came. The income from Juvestore is increased 40% too. That's the Ronaldo effect. The guy is more popular than the game football itself. That's it. He scored all our goals in the knockouts of the CL since he came. The only big games Dybala was decisive
on the 19th August, 2020 at 2:02pm
Obviously many peaple didn't watch most of the games of the team in the last 3 years. 3 years ago we were playing 4-2-3-1 but on the flangs were Mandzhukic and Ccuadrado who were going great work in defense. In the same time Higuain and Dybala were also pressing. Now if we play with Ronaldo and Dybala we are defending with 2 people less because non of them is effective in defending. Both Dybala and Ronaldo don't have specific position on the field - they are not wingers and they are not strikers
on the 19th August, 2020 at 1:55pm
1. Looking at most of the comments here, I'm glad that I'm not the only one that thought the reasoning in this article was total garbage. So many over-the-hill players in this squad and Dybala is the expendable one? Anyone with any lick of sense would realise the issue is not his wages, because there are loads of players also on high wages that moving them on would offset Dybala's. The issue is simply he's one of the few players that can bring a substantial sale value.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 1:46pm
Sorry, I don't buy this.. Oh boy! so much negativity here. It feels like Agnelli and co. are bunch of amateurs and some Mr.Football Experts on this blog (who have no formal football education or never involve in football club management) know better than the real professionals.
on the 19th August, 2020 at 1:25pm
to me the best i have seen juve play in europe and also in serie a is when we had a 4312 formation and 4231 formation. it is clear that while dybala can play as a false 9 in a 433. i dont understand why juve dont play a 4231.we went the c.league final playing some great football and scoring goals in a 4231. from midfield up it was:

why cant juve play
main ST
it would work
on the 19th August, 2020 at 12:55pm

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