Paulo Dybala’s future at Juventus is in doubt after it emerged that the Serie A champions would be willing to part company with their Argentine forward.
He has cut a forlorn figure in Turin since the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, the five time Ballon d’Or winner’s cataclysmic impact on the club leaving Dybala as something of a forgotten man. Reduced game-time and importance to the team have taken their toll, with it now appearing that the 25-year-old will leave the Allianz Stadium in the upcoming transfer window.
Despite Ronaldo’s eminence, the Juve hierarchy would be foolish to sanction the sale of one of their prime talents. No one doubts the Portuguese’s prodigious quality, but he cannot sustain his performance levels for much longer.
At the end of the next campaign he will be 35; Dybala has almost a decade more of football left in him. There is undoubtedly a role for the Argentina international that will not infringe upon that of Ronaldo, it will just require some tinkering from Massimiliano Allegri to find what that is exactly.
It would be senseless to allow Dybala to leave when the ex-Real Madrid superstar will likely make bid the Bianconeri farewell in 12 months time; a long-term future can be built around the former, whereas Ronaldo is merely an attempt at a quick fix to secure Champions League glory.
Moreover, in his mid-20s he is far from reaching his prime. The best is yet to come from a man who has already achieved so much in his career. What a waste it would be for Juventus if they were to nurture him during his fledgling years, only to let a rival reap the rewards once he has fully matured.
The arrival of Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal seems to be one of the reasons behind the club’s willingness to sell. The pair may be similar in their creative capacities, but it is not as though they wouldn’t be able to play together.
The Welshman operates well as a floating midfielder, while Dybala can play across the frontline or just off the leading striker. To justify the latter’s exit with the entrance of Ramsey is simply ludicrous.
Of course, one may point to his poor goal return this campaign to vindicate a transfer away from the side. The ex-Palermo player has scored just five times in Serie A this term, a pitiful total for an attacker with 27 appearances in a team that rule Italy with an iron fist at present.
However, he struck the same number in just nine Champions League matches this year, demonstrating his abilities at the highest level. Significantly, that tally is more in line with his performances from yesteryear.
In his first three seasons with Juventus, Dybala racked up 23, 19 and 26 goals, respectively. In a similar vein, he hit 13 for a distinctly average Palermo outfit in his final year with the Sicilians. He evidently possesses huge amounts of talent for a man so young, the likes of which Juve could regret letting go.
Returning to his uncharacteristically low goal total in 2018/19, that is largely a result of being played in unfamiliar positions. Allegri’s refusal to give Dybala his preferred role would unsettle anyone, resulting in a downturn in form.
Once Ronaldo moves on and the frontman resumes his regular duties, the goals should once again be flowing freely. Unfortunately for the club, his underwhelming exploits this season have taken a hit on his value.
The fee that the Old Lady will want is probably much higher than what will be offered from potential suitors; how can they demand anything remotely close to a nine-figure sum for a player who has been misfiring for months?
The answer is that they can’t. Given the absurd state of the transfer market in recent times, Dybala’s price-tag would have been in and around the £100m mark prior to this campaign.
The Italian giants will still no doubt make a profit on the man the signed for €32m plus add-ons in 2015, but selling now would not maximise the amount they could earn, increasing the feeling that Dybala’s sale would be a misstep from Allegri’s team.
With three years left to run on his current deal at the Allianz it’s not as though Juve are at any risk of losing him for nothing. They can afford to give the Argentine time to rediscover his superb form of previous campaigns.
There is no harm in waiting one more year, by the end of which the talismanic Ronaldo may decided to move on to pastures new. In that case, they will require another mercurial talent capable of single-handedly dismantling opponents; a confident, firing Dybala fits the bill.