Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Juve's Bad Investments

In recent years the Juventus have had trouble in the transfer seasons. It has not been due to a lack of finances, although with the new stadium they have moved to another level financially. They won't compete with the PSG's and Manchester City's, but they clearly have more disposable income.

This is good news for Bianconeri fans, but still they will have to be more diligent when selling players in the future. What sparked this idea was the sale of Milos Krasic for €7 million to Fenerbahce, and the inevitable loan of Felipe Melo yet again to Galatasaray. With the eventual implementation of the UEFA financial fair play, the selling of players is going to be just as important to a team as buying will be.

Milos Krasic was bought for €15 million in the summer of 2010. As most Juventini will tell you he was fantastic to begin his Bianconeri career, but struggled with fitness toward the end of that first season and seemed to lose a step as the year dragged on. The arrival of Antonio Conte was the beginning of the end for Milos at Juventus. He was completely phased out of the squad and was not even used as a substitute for most of the season. He only made 9 appearances during the 2011-12 season. It's surprising that Juventus were still able to sell him, but with his impressive pre-season this summer prior to being sold every fan wondered if he that magic he brought to the table at the start of his Serie A career was coming back. We'll never know.

Eljero Elia is another name that comes to mind, he arrived at Juventus last summer for €9 million. He made a grand total of four appearances before being shipped out this summer for €5.5 million. Why buy him in the first place?

The list goes beyond Krasic and Elia of course. Since the re-birth into Serie A Juventus have struggled mightily with transfers. Spending large fees on players that have not panned out. Felipe Melo(€25m), Diego(€27m), Tiago Mendes(€13m), Sergio Almiron(€9m), Jorge Martinez (€12m), and worst of all Amauri(€22.6) and trust me on this I could name more.

The return to Serie A saw the core of Alessandro Del Piero, Pavel Nedved, David Trezeguet, and Gianluigi Buffon still carry the team to Champions League qualification in their first two seasons back up. But beyond that the new blood was needed to carry the team to the next level, it wasn't until this season that Giuseppe Marrotta was able to figure it out with players like Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo being brought in. However we still are seeing the same problem, an inability to sell players at a profit.

Amauri, Tiago, Martinez and Melo have all brought back very little return in terms of performance and monetary value to the club and this cannot continue if the Old Lady is to continue on atop the Serie A. Most of them were only given a handful of opportunities to really succeed with the club, so it begs the question why bother? Especially with players like Martinez.

Alessandro Matri, Fabio Quagliarella, and Reto Ziegler are three players that remain on the selling block. I'm not sure why Matri would be, he seemed to fit in well with the Bianconeri's plans and had a decent scoring record before struggling through the end of last season with a knee injury. They spent €20m on him and now are reportedly looking to fetch €12m on the market for him only to use it on another striker. You always want to be buying low and selling high, something Marrotta does not seem to do well. Ziegler was brought in on a free, but was loaned out immediately and now they are struggling to get rid of him. While Quagliarella is having an awful pre-season after not featuring in the squad for much of last season, so what can they really get for him?

What troubles me the most is the continuing talk of Robin Van Persie being atop their priority list. He is a great talent I will admit, but I do have my doubts about his overall game. I'm not sure it will translate well to the Serie A, and I find it hard to remember when RVP has pulled out great performances when facing the top teams around Europe. But I could rant all day about that, the thing is that he is just turned 29, and is coming off the first injury free season of his career. His contract is going to expire with Arsenal next season at which point I would have no problem signing him as a thirty year old on a free transfer. But Arsenal is smart they know he is in high demand because of the great season he is coming off, and since three teams have let it be known they are strongly interested in him(Juventus, Man U, and Man City) they will let the bidding war ensue. Squeezing as much money as possible out of their star player.

I am warning Juventus fans Robin Van Persie may not end up being all he's cracked up to be. The Bianconeri went down the same road with Amauri a few years ago and we see how that turned out. Buying strikers when they are at their peak is never a good idea. I will grant you Van Persie is ten times the player Amauri was, but it's the same type of deal buying when their value is peaked and they are about to hit the down slope of their career.

Robin Van Persie would be yet another bad investment for Juventus.

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