Juventus is said to have approached Sassuolo about their young prodigy Giacomo Raspadori, who is set to replace Paulo Dybala in Turin. Dybala will depart Juventus as a free agent at the conclusion of the season after seven years of service, with the club refusing to grant the player a costly new term after backing out of their previous agreement last October.
While some may be unimpressed by Raspadori’s probable arrival given the chance of bringing in a more famous name from outside, Raspadori has already proved in his developing career that he has what it takes to flourish into a star for one of Europe’s greatest teams. Here are four reasons why Juventus should pursue Raspadori as Dybala’s replacement this summer:-
Despite missing a few games this season, the Argentine is Juve’s joint-leading Serie A scorer with eight goals. As a result, La Joya’s production in front of the goal must be equalled by his replacement. Raspadori, on the other hand, is cut from the same fabric. The Italian scored six times in Serie A without assisting during his breakout 2020/21 season, and he’s followed a similar pattern this season, scoring nine times and assisting three times.
He was mostly used as a striker during his Primavera days, therefore he has natural goalscoring instincts that have carried over to the senior game despite playing a more passive role. Raspadori has routinely surpassed his xG since making his Serie A debut. The 22-year-old is a bit of a poacher, but his superb ball-striking makes him a threat from the edge of the box.
Juventus look to be adopting a calculated strategy to deal with Dybala’s absence. Instead of bringing in a true replacement, they’re looking for a guy capable of balancing a possible front three of Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa, as well as a do-it-all midfielder [Sergej Milinkovic-Savic] who contributes much in the final third.
Raspadori will be unable to match Dybala’s talent and innovativeness in terms of creativity. But that’s OK. Juventus’ reliance on the Argentine for creativity has rendered their offensive style predictable and slow against deep-lying defences this season. As a result, Juve’s approach to replacing Dybala implies that the club is attempting to vary its offence and become more diversified and unpredictable in the final third.
Raspadori, on the other hand, remains a wellspring of the invention. This season, his assist for Davide Frattesi away at Fiorentina, where he received possession in the left half-space before delightfully sliding the surging midfielder in behind, is the type of penetration that Juve sorely lacks when Dybala is absent, and such sequences could become more common if Raspadori has runners ahead of him. The Italian is skilled in tight quarters and excels at using his explosive strength to force opponents away in transition. As a result, he can keep possession in the final third against low blocks while also contributing to Juve’s quick counter-attacks.
Massimiliano Allegri places a great priority on flexibility, which Raspadori possesses in spades. According to transfermarkt, the Italian international has played as a centre-forward, left-winger, right-winger attacking midfielder, and second striker throughout his career. Raspadori has largely played off the excellent Gianluca Scamacca in a 4-2-3-1 or off the left in a 4-3-3 this season under Alessio Dionisi. Allegri has used both systems this season, and the 22-year-old is a good match for both.
Raspadori, like Dybala, isn’t a touchline winger, thus some fear he won’t fit into Allegri’s 4-3-3. However, the Italian will not be obliged to play on the wing. Instead, a storming left-back will give the breadth, allowing Raspadori to drift inside and occupy the left half-space, where he can create and penetrate. The 22-year-old, on the other hand, is at ease in any zone between the lines, and his role off Scamacca this season has given him the opportunity to roam and rotate with teammates. Overall, he’s at ease executing a variety of offensive tasks, giving Allegri the flexibility to switch up his approach as needed.
Carnevali recently informed La Gazzetta dello Sport (via @JuveFC) that he’s “waiting for Juve with open arms” in regards to prospective Raspadori discussions. “I have an excellent relationship with the club,” he added. “However, if Juve wants Raspadori, they must spend.” However, according to Gazzetta’s Fabiano Della Velle (via Forza Juventus), who was the first to report Juve’s interest in Vlahovic, Sassuolo is seeking a sum in the region of €30 million for the 22-year-old.
Given that the club wants to recruit a new left-back, centre-back, and midfielder this summer, getting Raspadori at this low cost will provide them more financial flexibility when looking to improve those areas. Overall, this appears to be a low-risk opportunity with significant upside. Raspadori is a fine schematic fit who will balance out Juve’s projected front three next season.