5 important things that Juventus must do next season
It has been an exhilarating week for fans of La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady) as Juventus are affectionately called.
A 93rd-minute goal by the recently recovered Paulo Dybala helped the team grab a precious 1-0 win away at Lazio and following Napoli’s 4-2 loss to AS Roma a day later, the Bianconeri are now in the driving seat for the Serie A title.
This important result was followed by the drama at Wembley as 2nd half goals by the Argentine striking duo; Gonzalo Higuain & Dybala (him again) coupled with heroic defending gave Juve a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspurs and qualification to the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League.
While manager Massimiliano Allegri and his team deserve plaudits for these performances, these games have only served to highlight certain issues within the team that needs to be addressed next season if hopes of European domination are to be realized.
Here are 5 of the changes that need to be made for the team to move to the next level:
Also Read: 5 things Chelsea need to do next season
#5 Reduce the average age of the squad
The experience and know-how of the Juve team came to the fore against Tottenham in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.
However, it will be noted that for long stretches of the tie in both legs and in certain games in Serie A this season (games against Atalanta & Sampdoria come to mind), the usually immaculate defence has been gotten at by opponents who attack with speed; the age of the team is one of the reasons why.
With an average age of 30, the team has one of the oldest squads in the top European leagues and while the experience helps the team out of difficult situations, the inability to keep up with opponents have often led to these difficult situations.
Of the team’s registered 25 man squad for this season, only about 5 players are under the age of 25 and this has become a problem that needs to be addressed.
Juve has an established reputation for being a sort of Lazarus pit where older players go to be reborn but given the changing face of football across the continent, the board and manager Allegri should be looking at bringing down the average age of the squad by signing younger players next season.
Rumour has it that Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin is on the club’s shopping list and at age 22, he is in the correct age bracket that should be considered for rejuvenating the squad.