Juventus & Free Transfers - A match made in heavens
Juventus recently announced the signing of Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal on a free transfer deal which will see the Welsh international join the Turin side at the start of next season. Over the years, it has been a notable activity of the current Serie A champions to sign players on a free transfer compared to the lucrative amount that they gave for Cristiano Ronaldo. Although these players signed for free are not the debatable best in the world at their respective playing positions, they certainly have contributed to the success of the Italian giants by delivering key performances.
Let us see how some of these free signings have performed for the 'Bianconeri'.
#1 Fabio Cannavaro - Free, 2009
The former Italian defender signed for Juventus in 2009 on a free transfer from Real Madrid after having initially left the club for the Los Blancos. The most notable contribution of his tenure back at Juventus was the strong wall of defence he was able to form with Giorgio Chiellini. Cannavaro played 32 matches that season in all competitions. He failed to return to the best of his form after a mid-season injury and soon his relationship with the Juventus supporters reached an all-time low.
#2 Luca Toni - Free, 2010
Luca Toni signed for Juventus from Genoa. After being dubbed as a flop at Genoa, Toni played 14 matches for Juventus in 2010-11 season scoring twice during that period. Perhaps his most important contribution to the team was when he scored the first goal at the new Juventus stadium. His time at Juventus was limited and he eventually made a move to the Middle East.
#3 Andrea Pirlo - Free, 2011
Andrea Pirlo, the most charismatic footballer of his generation, arrived at Turin from Milan. This transfer was arguably the signing of the century. In his four seasons, he played a total of 164 matches in all competitions for the Turin side, scoring 19 times and assisting another 38. Pirlo was a key part of the side that won the Serie A four consecutive times during the 2011 and 2015 season. He also played an integral part in the squad that reached the Champions League final in 2015.
4# Paul Pogba - Free, 2012
Pogba arrived at Juventus in the summer of 2012 after failing to sign a new contract with Manchester United. Labelled as one of the best midfielders of his generation, Pogba's free transfer was quite hard to grasp for the football world. The world recognized the real potential of the French international after his iconic and career defining performances for the Italian giants. The Frenchman made 178 appearances during his 4 year tenure with Juventus, scoring 34 times and assisting 43 across all competitions. Paul Pogba was undoubtedly one of the key players for his side during that time period. Juventus sold him for a then record breaking transfer fee back to Manchester United, an example of an ideal business for the club.
#5 Fernando Llorente - Free, 2013
Llorente came to Juventus from Athletic Bilbao in 2013 and played three seasons at Italy. He wore the number 14 shirt for Juventus. The Juventus faithful will forever remember him for his injury time winner against Udinese. The big Spaniard scored 27 goals and was directly involved in another 10 goals for Juventus.
#6 Kingsley Coman - Free, 2014
Coman signed with Juventus after his contract with PSG expired. The versatile Frenchman was used as a winger or as a forward by Allegri. In his two seasons in Italy, he managed to find the back of the net only once. However, at the age of 18 years, he caught the eye of many clubs, thanks to his versatility. He was loaned to Bayern Munich in 2015 and eventually signed for them permanently.
#7 Sami Khedira - Free, 2015
World cup winning German international, Sami Khedira joined Juventus on a free transfer from Real Madrid on July 1 2015. The central midfielder continues to be an integral part of his side, controlling the game on many occasions with dictating performances at the middle of the field. In a total of 124 appearances for Juventus till now, Khedira has directly been involved in 35 goals across all competitions, scoring 21 and assisting 14.
#8 Dani Alves - Free, 2016
The ever so incredible Brazilian, Dani Alves left Barcelona after having won every accolade possible at club level with the La Liga side. Though he signed initially on a two season deal for Juventus, the right back played only one season with them. In 33 appearances for Juventus, the Brazilian scored 6 goals and assisted 7, impressive numbers for a right back. Dani Alves's contribution to Juventus is not only limited to his involvements in the goals tally but also by committing and defending a strong back line at Turin.
Juventus have a commendable history on signing players for free and bringing the best out of them. Good management, a strong instinct to watch the transfer market carefully and act diligently have been the pillars of success of the club always. Undoubtedly, the Italian side are bringing in a strong performer by signing Ramsey. Adapting to a new league with much more physical football, sinking in with new team mates and understanding new roles that is required of him are the factors that will dictate the success of the Welshman in Serie A.
It is rumoured that Ramsey’s desire to win trophies played an influential part in his decision to leave London. The box to box midfielder can also play on either of the wings. Juventus are adding to their arsenal a player who is versatile, creative and lethal in front of goal. If the Welshman can deliver, there is no doubt that the Turin side will continue their dominance in Serie A further. The addition of Ramsey to their squad will also improve their European chances significantly. Currently at 28, the Welshman still has his best years of football ahead of him.