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Juventus were like a cobra in the January transfer window and put a spell on Tottenham’s Paratici


Juventus were like a poisonous cobra in the January transfer window – they hypnotised their victims and launched with a fatal bite on the neck, in this instance of Fabio Paratici and Tottenham

In Italy, there is a lot of curiosity about how Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur can become fundamental in Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 or 3-4-2-1, considering the poor results achieved in the last 18 months. 

They are both very young and both still inexperienced despite the many appearances in Serie A. Yet their purchase is an investment that could help Totteham reach the Champions League.

Juventus made the most of Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte's January transfer desperation

Juventus made the most of Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte’s January transfer desperation

Tottenham have signed winger Dejan Kulusevski from Juve on a long-term loan contract

Tottenham have signed winger Dejan Kulusevski from Juve on a long-term loan contract

Midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur has also joined from Juve in a £19million transfer

Midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur has also joined from Juve in a £19million transfer 

Juventus have been very careful to exploit the decision-making problems at Spurs, who seem excessively dependent on the choices of Conte and Paratici. They are two highly qualified men who have never sought low cost deals but large market ones, capable of reaching their seasonal targets as soon as possible. 

Maurizio Arrivabene, the Juventus CEO, looks like Merlin the wizard and has the beard and hair designed by a stylist. 

With three shrewd moves he gave Juventus a saving of almost 30m euros by freeing the income accounts from Aaron Ramsey. 

The Welsh player, along with Kulusevski and Bentancur, represented a very serious problem for the club’s financial sustainability. Arrivabene managed, with a touch of magic, to fix all the mistakes made by Paratici in Turin in just 21 days – defusing the Ramsey bomb with a loan to Glasgow Rangers and putting in the club’s budget about 60 million euros for two low-profile players not considered by Allegri and his staff.

Tottenham were in desperate need to move in the transfer market because Antonio Conte is in a hurry to build a team equipped to reach one of the places still available for next season’s Champions League. The frenzy of the last hours of the transfer market has perhaps generated too many expectations on two players who in Italy have had a normal player performance and not a top player performance. 

Juve's shrewd dealings in Janaury were overseen by their CEO Maurizio Arrivabene (right)

Juve’s shrewd dealings in Janaury were overseen by their CEO Maurizio Arrivabene (right)

Arrivabene used to work in Formula One with Ferrari before taking up a role at Juventus

Arrivabene used to work in Formula One with Ferrari before taking up a role at Juventus

Paratici has chosen players that are difficult to buy from his club and also due to the refusals of the players initially chosen he was not able to deliver Conte his top choices – a demonstration of bad strategy.

Arrivabene has a reputation for being a tough man, a head-cutter who must rationalise the club’s financial resources. He did this in Ferrari and now he is doing the same things in Juventus at the behest of John Elkann and Andrea Agnelli. The same men who chased away Fabio Paratici after nine years for not having an optimal management of the budget to spend on the market. 

Instead of Adama Traore, who chose to return to Barcelona, ​​Conte asked for Kulusevski, an old love of his admired from his time at Parma when the Swedish winger enchanted the whole Serie A. 

Today, 18 months at Juventus has devalued the overall quality of Kulusevski who has discovered that he is an unsuitable player to fill specific roles: he is not a pure winger because he can barely make convincing crosses and he doesn’t have an eye for goal. 

The feeling is that Paratici chose Kulusevski out of desperation = he did not know who to buy to satisfy the demanding Conte and chose to bet on the Swede.

Kulusevski is not a top player but he can become one. The problem, if anything, is the role that will be assigned to him. In the national team he plays as number 10, behind a strong and powerful striker, and if Conte chooses this role for him without creating too many tactical problems, Kulusevski will finally be able to prove his worth. 

Juventus moved for in-demand striker Dusan Vlahovic, bringing him in from Fiorentina

Juventus moved for in-demand striker Dusan Vlahovic, bringing him in from Fiorentina

They could use the money raised in January to offer attacker Paulo Dybala a new contract

They could use the money raised in January to offer attacker Paulo Dybala a new contract

However, there is an environmental perplexity because the Swede at Juventus has played 74 games scoring only 9 goals, many of these in Cups and a few in Serie A, perhaps proving that he is not yet ready for a top side.

Bentancur’s choice also seems to be a plan B, indeed perhaps a plan C given the difficulties in reaching the top players in that role. 

Bentancur is a Latin midfielder who does not excel in personality or even in the goal area. With Juventus he scored only 2 goals in four-and-a-half years and his poor ball management skills were fundamental for the elimination against Porto in last year’s  Champions League. 

The decision to sell him is the result of a series of arguments made by Federico Cherubini – the Juventus director – and Arrivabene that satisfy both the technical and financial plans. 

New arrival Denis Zakaria is more familiar with fast and dynamic Italian football. The choice to prefer him to Bentancur also has an extraordinary economic merit: the South American was sold for 19 million euros plus 6m bonuses and Zakaria was bought for £6m. 

With the money they have made, Juventus will this month finance the renewal of Paulo Dybala’s contract thanks to the reduction of the wage budget. Losing Ramsey, Kulusevski and Bentancur reduced the team’s overall costs by around 30 million by freeing up a valuable spot for trying to make a decisive offer to Dybala. 

There are questions in Italy over how players such as Kulusevski will fit in under Conte

There are questions in Italy over how players such as Kulusevski will fit in under Conte

For Juventus, the signing of midfield player Denis Zakaria also represents shrewd value

For Juventus, the signing of midfield player Denis Zakaria also represents shrewd value

According to Tuttosport the Argentina international had verbally agreed a deal worth around 8million euros in October and the next Juventus offer will be aimed at reducing the initial requests of the No 10 by about 15 per cent.

Juventus managed to get 90 per cent of the £66m spent on the purchase of Vlahovic, fixing all the missing pieces in the team in this winter transfer market. 

Spurs indirectly financed the rebuild. The Serbia striker has always and only wanted the Italian club by refusing the more luxurious offers from Spurs and even Arsenal.

And overall at Juve, a puzzle of operations has displeased the Gunners, sweetened Tottenham and allowed Juventus to buy one of the strongest available strikers. 

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