Wednesday June 19 2013
Time for Marrone to grow up

What to do with Luca Marrone is a question that Juventus will have to answer this summer. Antonio Labbate writes.

“I certainly won’t be on the move this month. Then, in June, we’ll evaluate the situation again. I’ve spoken with the Coach and with the club. We all believe that it is better for me to play 10 games for a big outfit like Juventus instead of 30 for another team. Staying here will help me to grow.”

That was Luca Marrone committing his future to the Bianconeri in January. Six months on, and at the end of a campaign where he did indeed make 10 Serie A appearances, it’s time to consider the biggest decision of his career to date.

Marrone can’t afford to spend another campaign on the periphery in Turin. Learning the tricks of the trade from more established teammates in training is one thing, but playing week in and week out is another. The player and the club seem to have acknowledged as much. A summer move is, thus, on the horizon.

The Italian Under-21 international, whose European Championship was cruelly ended by an injury sustained in the opening victory over England, has no shortage of admirers. However, he and Juventus will have to choose his next destination wisely.

At this stage it seems unlikely, although not impossible, that the champions will sell him outright. A loan or a co-ownership are subsequently options for La Signora. The loan is the safest ploy for the club in terms of making sure that the player returns to base if that is their desire. Yet the co-ownership solution, despite what happened with Ciro Immobile in the last campaign at Genoa, could arguably deliver the biggest return.

If you offer a share of a player’s contract, it is in the interests of the buying party to regularly play that individual in the hope that he develops. The tactic worked with Sebastian Giovinco and Parma. The fact Juventus had to spend €11m to buy back a forward they had previously owned is often cited as a failing. But they got €3m from Parma in the first place and the Atomic Ant now, even after his problematic 2012-13, is a better player than when he left and is today comfortably valued at over €10m.

What Marrone and Juventus need is a club who can guarantee the ex-Siena loanee regular first team football because he’s already in a race against time. Italian football worryingly considers Marrone as a youngster, but he’s 23 and, if he indeed is as good as his potential alludes, then he can ill afford to waste another campaign. His Serie A career to date? Just 15 appearances.

There is a complication however. Simply finding Marrone a new home will not be enough, deciding on a role for him is also a necessity. While versatility is an appealing trait, it can also endanger development in one particular position. Before the start of last season, Marrone was very much a central midfielder with playmaker potential. That was until he was transformed into a centre-back by Antonio Conte.

Hit by a defensive shortage in pre-season, Conte, who also worked with him in Tuscany, needed a player with good feet as an alternative to Leonardo Bonucci in the middle of the back-three. Marrone was the chosen one and it became evident why.

“I felt comfortable in the role,” he said last term. “But the important thing is that you play at Juventus, not what position you play. I was used to a midfield berth, but now I can play elsewhere and this will be good for my experience.”

Marrone was used at the back in nine of his 10 League appearances in the past campaign. In the interests of his own personal growth, a decision needs to be made on what he wants to be when he grows up. Resuming his career as a central midfielder perhaps makes more sense, especially as there are doubts regarding his suitability in a flat back-four should Juventus one day revert to a rear-guard of that configuration.

“I certainly hope to play more regularly,” Marrone stated while in Israel with the Azzurrini when asked about 2013-14. “I’ll evaluate all of the offers that I get. Training is of use up to a certain point, but games are the real exam for a player. Playing consistently would be important. And, who knows, I could have a good season elsewhere and then return to Turin.”

That scenario would be very neat and has to be a consideration the club are seriously thinking about. The last 12 months have shown that Marrone would struggle to get into the best midfield in Italy, but, sooner or later, La Signora will lose the 34-year-old Andrea Pirlo. Now few are proclaiming Marrone to be his heir, but at a time when Marco Verratti’s agent is constantly reminding us that his client is too expensive for Italian clubs, Luca is a home grown option that must be evaluated – even if it means initially waving goodbye or selling 50 per cent of his contract. 

Have your say...
marrone should be loaned to get starting berth, n we will see the end coz with this current midfielder squ
ad, his chance is very limited
on the 22nd June, 2013 at 10:28am
MaldinisHeir, Alberto Paloschi is owned 50/50 by Milan and Chievo Verona.
on the 22nd June, 2013 at 5:13am
He would be perfect at Milan!
on the 21st June, 2013 at 4:49am
@ Don Vincenzo

Marchisio is the future of Juventus...the future what exactly? He is physically weak, has a very limited skill-set, his passing ability is dreadful and he often misses impossible to miss chances (Lazio in the Coppa semi-final the prime example). If Monoco are willing to pay 30 million for him, we should snap their hands off. Pogba is several classes above Marchisio already and he has to be first choice next season alongside Pirlo and Pogba. Marchisio just isn't good enough!
on the 20th June, 2013 at 5:39pm

Florenzi is a fantastic future prospect and could one day become a star player for club and country without a doubt but we can't compare him to Marrone who doesn't play in the same position as Florenzi. Both could become star players in their preferred positions respectively but both could also fade away as so many have in the past.
on the 20th June, 2013 at 12:34pm
I agree he needs a move but I'm not that convinced he's going to be a star. He could be another Cigarni or Dessena.

I think Florenzi is much more talented that Marrone.

On a different note how didnt't Capuano get a game at the Under 21 tournement, in my opinion he's better than Bianchetti and Caldirola. He'd also played more last reason compared to the other 2.
on the 20th June, 2013 at 9:04am
Young players can not get game experience unless they are loaned to smaller clubs in Serie A (or to Serie B sides which are competitive enough to fight for promotion). It is better for Donati to go to Germany than bench warming at Inter or send back to Serie B sides.The same works for Marrone.
on the 19th June, 2013 at 4:20pm
Well Luca got talent nd it needs 2 be harnessed as sich he has 2 wait in line as a back up player till his services are required cos he will continue 2 learn in that process nd as 4 Marchisio he should not be sold cos he is the future of Juventus as such people should stop hating on him
on the 19th June, 2013 at 4:01pm
According to Wikipedia Milan currently have 30 players out on loan and 11 co-ownership deals! How can anyone possibily manage this situation. Inter seem willing to sell Donati just as he's finished playing for the U21s in the final of the European Championships. What is the current ownership status of players like Gabbiadini, Immobile and Paloschi? At least Marrone seems to have a club albeit not a position yet. The Spanish once again showed the difference of well managed youth team system.
on the 19th June, 2013 at 2:34pm
Marrone is another classic example of the issues which young players face in Italy. While Juve are generally one of the better teams for giving young players a chance the whole system needs to be changed. The endless co-ownerships and loan deals are extremely disruptive to young players development. Yes some players might need to be loaned out for experience but in some cases there are players loaned out for 5 - 6 seasons. Abate at Milan was loaned out from 2003 - 2009! It's ridiculous
on the 19th June, 2013 at 2:29pm
Juve & Marrone has to decide. I think it all depends on Juve's decision to keep or send Marchisio out, as Marchisio will defnitely loose his starting position in Juve's midfield. Pogba, Pirlo & Vidal will be in the starting line up, so juve needs to keep Marrone as a back up for the midfield three. If Marchisio decides to stay next season(his chances will be playing out of position or accept to be on the bench),then Marrone has to be loaned out for a season or two to mid table serie A side.
on the 19th June, 2013 at 1:32pm
This guy has the potential to become the next De Rossi - I think a loan move (maybe even abroad) would be great for his development.
on the 19th June, 2013 at 11:12am
Marrone is decent in both midfield and defense. It's really up to him to choose where he wants to play. Currently both Italy and Juve have good midfielders that will keep Marrone out of the squad. In the defense i feel he could play more regularly both for club and country. As to his situation at Juve, he should make a decision ASAP and i wouldn't mind seeing him at a smaller club playing 20+ games a season.
on the 19th June, 2013 at 10:44am
Juventus but be ridiculous to sell on co-own there latest home grown club player right now as they have done in the past with players like Crisito and immobile who even now the club would have benefited of keeping and using them both, true pirlo would retire soon, Pogba is the new amazing talent to be a juventus legend hopefully one day but marrone needs to be our new Marchisio, and juventus are a club not to waste money? A home grown player italian like marrone is a perfect candidate to keep!!
on the 19th June, 2013 at 9:52am

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