Impressive transfer campaign so far

Posted by Mina Rzouki

Only nine million euros were spent on drastically improving the front line -- Antonio Conte spoke for the first time this summer to assure those who listened with intent that his Old Lady would be challenging for the Scudetto yet again. With Angelo Ogbonna having officially been added to the squad, Juventus have strengthened yet again even if certain impending sales have somewhat saddened these transfer days.

- Conte thrilled with summer signings

Considering Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici's notorious eye for a bargain, some Juventus fans are said to be unhappy at the fact that the club paid so much for Ogbonna. After all, the Old Lady already has three starting centre-backs and the now ex-Torino defender would be lucky to get into the starting line-up.

However, there are many reasons for the hefty price paid. In truth, there are only a few options in the European market these days for a great centre-back; Ogbonna is not only a player who Conte believes in but he's an Italy international, and more importantly a man renowned for his attitude.

While technique and skill can never be overlooked, the club's management considers dressing room balance and strength of character to be of the utmost importance. Ogbonna is not only a leader who demonstrated this precise quality when obtaining his caps for Italy, instructing teammates when necessary, but he is calm, humble and considered to be 'the ultimate professional'.

Charitable, he despises headlines, loves football and considers his mother to be his hero. Asked about his heritage, his answer was plain and simple -- he feels completely Italian, so much so that he rejected a chance to represent the Nigerian national team to play for Italy.

However, when looking at the cheap purchases made, 13m euros seems a lot for a player who has suffered with injury and never played in Europe. Yet considering the fact he's been followed by Europe's biggest teams and that the Torino President never imagined selling his most valuable asset for any figure less than 20m euros, one can understand the value of the deal. Last season, the interest shown in the defender scared Torino Ultras who held banners that read: "If you sell Angelo Ogbonna, prepare the coffin." Marotta had admitted to being interested in the player but the rival side were not willing to sell, heeding the words of their fans. Now the sale has been made and we should congratulate the management on the arrival of yet another brilliant player.

Young, Italian and desperate to play for Juventus, Ogbonna may well be the perfect addition to a side that yearns for defensive cover.

Of course purchases must also be supported by sales and sadly, the Old Lady will soon be waving goodbye to her utility man and the player defined by his dedication and heart: Emanuele Giaccherini will soon be a Sunderland player.

- Giaccherini closer to Black Cats switch

Neither his agent, nor many other sources in Italy believed the deal would ever go through. The player can count on Conte as being one of his biggest fans and the coach saw him as the perfect man to call upon when in a bind. The midfielder would soak up the advice dealt, played with determination and thrilled with his impeccable tactical understanding. Cesare Prandelli considers him an important part of the National Team but Paolo Di Canio's side are said to have offered the player regular football, a good contract and the opportunity to experience a new league and a new country.

While Juventus and indeed Conte have assured the player that they will not stand in his way, they are very sad to wave goodbye to the man who understood the Conte way and upheld the philosophy behind 'Lo Stile Juve'.

The coach is now hoping his other utility man, Simone Pepe, will avoid injury and be counted on in the games that require determination and heart, above all other qualities. While the figures quoted don't seem quite enough, a substantial profit has been made for the sale and the Bianconeri are looking to invest that money again -- not in Alessandro Diamanti as it has been alleged.

Who will be the next target for the Bianconeri?

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