The ever reliable Romeo Agresti recently reported that Juventus are currently evaluating whether to go for another regista this summer or to go for a mezzala that is a creative box to box midfielder, but should Juve really go for a regista this summer?
No, in my opinion. There are many reasons for that, but first and foremost being that we haven’t really been able to unlock Locatelli’s potential at that position. At Sassuolo he was partnered with a defensive midfielder which allowed him to occupy better advanced positions and focus more on the offensive side of the game. His partner did the dirty work, which also allowed him to have a nearby passing option to help him retain possession.
At his time at Juve, Locatelli has mostly been deployed as a lone defensive midfielder which doesn’t suit his style of play at all. His best moments came when he played alongside Arthur in the base, which allowed him to have a better control of the game and show his creativity that Juve were looking for when they bought him.
Now we have Zakaria, a dedicated defensive midfielder, who can allow Locatelli to excel. We have already seen that Zakaria has enough technical abilities to play deep. Having him play as a 6 will give Locatelli the required freedom to act as the creative deep lying playmaker we all know him to be. Secondly, we clearly lack a good ball carrier in the midfield, someone who can act as an outlet and help us during the offensive transitions. Someone who can create chances from the midfield and be a goal threat.
Juventus have lacked a player of such profile ever since Pogba left and currently, the Bianconeri only have Dybala, who has to drop deep from the forward line to play that role and when he gets injured or is out of play, our attacking options become really one dimensional. Juventus have been lacking an elite advanced 8 since the past 5-6 years and it’s clearly time for someone to fill that role.
An elite Mezzala
Lastly, we know that even though Juventus are at a better place financially compared to last year, the Bianconeri still can only afford one star signing in the midfield and doing that for a regista when Juve clearly have the solution for that position in our team, doesn’t make sense. The Bianconeri also have Rovella, who has clearly shown that he has what it takes to make the next step. Signing one more player at that position is not needed, Juventus have to address their overreliance on Dybala as the only creative outlet in the team. An elite mezzala could be the last puzzle piece of Juve’s midfield, which has been their biggest problem for a long time.