Juventus should be proud of their summer spending

Posted by Mina Rzouki

After what seemed to be an eternity, the summer transfer market is finally over and Juventus can certainly be pleased with the work they have done. Antonio Conte had hoped to be treated to a surprise in the form of Radja Nainggolan or a winger but unfortunately no deal was made - at least he got to keep Fabio Quagliarella, much to the chagrin of Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici.

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The two directors were desperate to sell both Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri and assigned different agents to contact clubs to find them alternative locations. Whilst Matri eventually left to join Milan, a resolution that both the club and player wanted, Quagliarella ended up staying. His departure would have been accepted by the coach had reinforcements, such as winger or a strong midfielder, arrived. Realising the many difficulties in bringing in players he desired, the thought of managing a thin squad, considering the many competitions Juve will participate in this season, gave him palpitations. He needed options and without any arrivals coming in, Quagliarella for him had to stay.

Squad rotation is of the utmost importance, especially for a tactician who values fitness and never-ending energy on the pitch. His vision of football cannot be realised if his players begin to experience exhaustion, or worse, injury. Quagliarella represents both experience and the understanding of Conte's philosophy.

Nainggolan was the player the Bianconeri silently prayed for on a sporting level as he boasts both technique and mental fortitude. Tenacious and intelligent, his defensive skills are impressive, as is his ability to pass and shoot from distance.

More pertinently for management, the Cagliari midfielder is considered a commercial asset. Although he's a Belgian player, Nainggolan's father is from Indonesia, a country that, according to a "thank you" note Juventus published in December 2011, "houses the highest number of Bianconeri fans on the web" - after Italy of course.

In Juve's Champions League match against Celtic last season, the Jogja chapter of Juventus Club Indonesia created a miniature version of the fan display in Juventus Stadium to show its support. The fans chanted and held banners aloft as if they were in Italy - such is the love they have for the Bianconeri stripes.

On a purely financial basis, the player whom the Bianconeri hoped to pay €1.5m a season for four years would have been considered a bargain considering the revenue he could potentially generate in Asia due to the sales in merchandise as well as advertising deals.

Cagliari president Massimo Cellino has allegedly promised the Old Lady's directors that they will have first dibs on the player and he could well arrive in January. However, at this moment in time, the Sardinian club were hesitant to sell off whom they consider to be one of their more important players.

The last day of the transfer market also saw Luca Marrone go to Sassuolo on a co-ownership agreement, whilst Juve bagged 50 percent of Sassuolo starlet Domenico Berardi. Dazzling performances in Serie B last season piqued the interest of Premier League clubs, including the likes of Manchester City, who sent out scouts to watch the striker in action last year.

Ideally positioned on the wing in a 4-3-3 formation, Berardi is a difficult player to mark, has two quick feet and is impossibly effective on the counterattack. Praised for his ball control, he releases the ball quickly and with ease whilst his ability to play between the lines is perhaps his best quality. Tactically, there is room for improvement, but he will not be joining the Old Lady just yet as Sassuolo have managed to hold on to the player until the rest of the season.

Of course with Giovanni Rossi now the sporting director of Sassuolo, the man who used to be in charge of Juventus' youth sector, it's understandable why the two clubs can negotiate so easily. Paratici is a big fan of Rossi and it is in both clubs' interest to share a good relationship.

With Carlos Tevez scoring goals, Berardi lined up for the future and alternatives in attack and in defence, Antonio Conte should be satisfied that it's a job well done for Juve this summer.


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