Sami Khedira Signs for Juventus: Signing Shows Juve’s Intent

The fact that Sami Khedira, like Paolo Dybala before him, has signed for Juventus only shows the Italian champions’ willingness to reload and re-launch in terms of winning European hardware next season. Both signings are moves that take the Old Lady “from strength to strength” thanks to loaded player selections in the center of the pitch and in attack.

The signings also give just another reason why Juve decision-maker Beppe Marotta is the best in the business. Marotta has snagged Khedira, Andrea Pirlo, Fernando Llorente and Paul Pogba for free while signing stars Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tevez, Patrice Evra and Andrea Barzagli on cut-rate deals. You paid more for your last batch of groceries than Marotta paid to sign Khedira, Pirlo and Pogba. There should be some kind of award for that.

Khedira missed large parts of the season for Madrid last term, making just 12 appearances over all competitions. However, when you can sign a player for free who was a regular starter at Real Madrid and won the Bundesliga, the Champions League, La Liga and the World Cup before the age of 29, you know you’ve had a solid day at the office.

The German international leaves a crowded midfield situation at the Bernabeu and joins a midfield grouping in Turin where he will receive his fair share of starts.  

While competing with Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio for starts won’t be easy, it will provide him much less competition than in Spain where Khedira was stuck behind James Rodriguez, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Additionally, Khedira would have had to fight off Asier Illarramendi, Lucas Silva and Casemiro for time off the bench.

Khedira will likely provide a change-of-pace to Pirlo in midfield, serving more as a destroyer to Pirlo’s metronome. He doesn’t possess the passing acumen as his new Italian teammate, but Khedira is a reliable passer nonetheless. The German will likely be charged with shielding the defense as a descriptive force while providing steady passing. He’s not Pirlo, but he’ll give opposing teams something to think about nonetheless.

If anything, the decision to bring in a player of Khedira’s quality to essentially serve as the first midfielder off the bench only shows the club’s desire to not only make it back to Europe’s biggest game, like they did this past season, but win the game—no matter who the opponent.

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Juventus Transfer News: Potential Oscar Signing Makes Sense

If recent reports are to be believed, Juventus are attempting land Chelsea/Brazil playmaker Oscar in a cut-rate transfer.

Out-performed and out-played by the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazzard and Willian, Chelsea’s number eight could be deemed surplus. Should Juventus land him, it would represent another bargain transfer buy for Beppe Marotta, who has already acquired the likes of Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Barzagli on the cheap (relative to their current value).

(RELATED: Khedira and Dybala Transfers Step in the Right Direction for Juventus)

Oscar provided 7 goals and eight assists in 34 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions mainly as a central attacking midfielder. This is the same position that current Juve midfielder Roberto Pereyra plays.

Pereyra is on loan in Turin this season with an option to make the move permanent at the end of the season. The Argentine’s loan deal in Turin can be made permanent if the Bianconeri cough up €14 million to parent club Udinese.

Reports have Juve attempting to pry Oscar away from Chelsea for what equates to a little over €12 million.

Signing Oscar (who played a hand in 15 goals this season) to replace Pereyra (three goals and three assists) would be a massive upgrade and one that would provide Juventus with the depth to make yet another assault on Europe next season, regardless of how the final versus Barcelona plays out.

All stats courtesy of http://www.whoscored.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Khedira and Dybala Transfers Step in Right Direction for Juventus

Sami Khedira and Paulo Dybala have both been linked with Champions League finalist Juventus, and now according to the Guardian’s Ed Aarons, the Bianconeri could announce the announce the signings soon.

(RELATED: 2015 Champions League Final Storylines to Watch: #Juventus vs #Barcelona)

Both are monumental signings for the club and signal a step in the right direction for Juventus. Here are just a few reasons why the signings are good for the Old Lady.

Transfer Fees

Sami Khedira is about to join a select club that features the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Fernando Llorente and Kingsley Coman. What do an Italian, a Spaniard and two Frenchman have in common? They were all signed on free transfers by Beppe Marotta.

Adding Khedira, a player who at 28 has already won the Bundesliga, La Liga, the Champions League and the World Cup, for no money may go down as one of Marotta’s best acquisitions. It probably would have been his best if he, you know, hadn’t acquired Pirlo and Pogba for a combined zero dollars/euros/pounds.

While Khedira is arriving on a free transfer, Dybala’s fee isn’t public knowledge. It’s likely in the €30 million range, and while that may seem like a ton of cash, the soon-to-be former Palermo striker has world-class upside. In five years, he and Alvaro Morata may provide Juve with the most dangerous attacking duo in world football.

If you still don’t like the fact that Juve paid €30 million for a player, just think of Dybala and Khedira’s signings as a package deal. Paying €30 million combined for the two is a steal.

Beating the Competition

The perception of Premier League teams, at least the upper-echelon ones, is that they can buy pretty much whoever they want. These British teams are flush with cash and generally can pry international players away from their old teams. However with Khedira and Dybala, two of the most typed/printed names in the transfer rumor sections, set to join Italian giants Juventus, it represents a major win for Juve.

Both have been linked with big-money spenders Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United with Dybala also being targeted by Liverpool.

Depth

Maybe the biggest positive about signing Khedira and Dybala is that neither represent a current area of need for the Old Lady.

The midfield is set with Pirlo, Pogba, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio and Roberto Pereyra, but Khedira adds extra quality and a player who will push for a starting spot in a midfield that is quickly becoming one of the best in Europe.

Dybala joins a similarly talented attack force that includes the likes of Morata, Coman, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente.

It is completely feasible that neither player is a consistent starter for Juventus next season given the talent on the team, but the club will need depth and rotation for a shot at potential back-to-back trebles.

(RELATED: #Juventus Transfer Rumors: Players Who Could Leave Turin in the Summer Transfer Window)

Selling Club

Khedira and Dybala weren’t brought in as replacements for outgoing players and arrived before any departures, signaling that Juve has no desire to be a selling club.

Given the economic state of Italian football, it may not seem like Juve are prime candidates to be a buying club, but that’s exactly what the Bianconeri are doing.

Additionally, the club must have seen what happened to other clubs who made the Champions League final in past seasons and then saw their squads disassemble.

Borussia Dortmund lost Mario Gotze the season after reaching the final and saw Robert Lewandowski leave soon after. The German giants are set to lose manager Jurgen Klopp with Ilkay Gundogan likely to follow him out the door. In terms of the Champions League, they haven’t made it past the quarter-finals since losing to Bayern in the final.

Similarly, Atletico Madrid weren’t the same team this season after making it to the Champions League Final last term. Thibaut Courtois returning to Chelsea was a given after a long loan spell, but Atleti also lost Diego Costa and Felipe Luis to the west London club while David Villa departed for MLS club New York City F.C.

Atleti beat Barcelona by three points in last season’s title race, but finished 16 points behind the Catalan club as they finished third. Atletico also finished 14 points off cross-town rivals Real Madrid for second place.

Even if Pirlo leaves as rumored, Juve won’t lose much of their core, or first team at that. Adding Khedira and Dybala only strengthens the team ahead of next season.

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Real Madrid vs #Juventus Highlights As Interpreted by an Enthusiastic Italian Analyst

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#Juventus vs Real Madrid Highlights As Interpreted by a Studio of Enthusiastic Italian Analysts

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2015 Champions League Final Storylines to Watch: Juventus vs Barcelona

With Juventus set to face Barcelona in Berlin next month, here are some early storylines to watch for.

Rest

With the Scudetto already in hand, Juve will be able to limit playing time for their key performers. You can bet Max Allegri will play his players just enough to keep them sharp, but will give them significant rest. The added time will also allow Paul Pogba time to shake off any lingering rust from his injury lay-off. Juve will play Lazio in the Coppa Italia Final in Rome on May 20th.

Barcelona may have La Liga in hand, but haven’t won it yet. They’ll face a tough test from Atletico in Madrid before finishing up against Deportivo La Coruna on the 23rd. Like Juve, they’re in position to win their domestic cup as well. Barcelona will host Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey Final.

Giorgio Chiellini vs Luis Suarez: BiteGate 2.0

Chiellini was superb against Madrid and will a shot at revenge against Suarez, who along with the rest of the Uruguay knocked Chiellini (and six other Juve players including Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo) out of the World Cup. Oh yeah, Suarez also bit Chiellini.

Patrice Evra vs Suarez

Like Chiellini, Evra has his own history with Suarez. The forward racially abused the Juventus defenseman when Evra was with Manchester United and Suarez was with Liverpool. You can bet that Juve will be up to the challenge of defending Suarez, especially if he tries attacking the left side of the Juventus defense. Juve play with a back four. The team’s preferred left back and left-center back pairing? That would be Chiellini and Evra.

Carlos Tevez vs Javier Mascherano

The former West Ham teammates made a controversial move to England from South America. The Argentines now find themselves on opposite sides of the pitch.

The Italian Defenders vs Yet Another Vaunted Attacking Trio

After making Madrid’s attacking trident of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema uncomfortable and largely ineffective, the central defense combination of Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli, along with outside backs Evra and Stephan Lichtsteiner will be tasked with slowing down another potent attacking trio, this one made up of Lionel Messi, Neymar and the cannibal Suarez

Buffon for the Win

The World Cup winner has yet to lay his hands on a Champions League trophy. Based on his reaction to defeating Real Madrid, you can bet he’ll want to take down Los Blancos biggest rivals as well.

Andrea Pirlo vs Iniesta and/or Xavi

The matchup between the Old Lady and the Spanish giants will feature three of the most talented and successful midfielders of the last 15 years. Must see TV to put it plainly.

Opposites Attract

Juve a strong defensive team thanks to a defensive foundation that know each other’s tendencies inside and out. While the Bianconeri don’t receive enough credit for their offense, their defense will be on display versus the talented attacking trio of Barcelona.

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To see highlights of the Bianconeri’s triumph over Real Madrid, click here, here and here.

For highlights of Barcelona’s triumph over Bayern Munich, click here.

Your Say

Did you think I missed any storylines to watch? If so, let your thoughts be known in the comments.

Real Madrid vs Juventus Vine Highlights: Juve’s Celebration

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To see Alvaro Morata’s goal, click here. 

To see Gianluigi Buffon’s celebration, click here.

Real Madrid vs Juventus Vine Highlights: Gianluigi Buffon’s Celebration

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To see Alvaro Morata’s goal, click here. 

Real Madrid vs Juventus Vine Highlights: Alvaro Morata’s Goal

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#Bayern Munich vs #Barcelona: Watch Champions League #Vine Highlights

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