Menu

A (not so) world class Juve

Unpopular opinion: Juve has only 3 world-class players in the squad: Dybala, De Ligt, Ronaldo, while the rest of the squad is….so to say…very much replaceable.

This idea has trailed me for some time, but it was not until yesterday that I gave it a more serious, in-depth thought. As I was reading the comments after the Crotone game, I came across this harsh, aggressive and yet true (to some degree) comment posted by @John Clark, which basically stated in unequivocal terms that besides Dybala, De Ligt, Ronaldo, the rest of the squad is “medicore, bang-average and full of has beens and over-rated youths“. It would go on by suggesting that there are even similarities between Juventus and Arsenal, in terms of overrating the players.

As I began to look for evidence to support or counter this opinion, I came to realise that there is more truth in it, than we would like to admit. In fact, all the data indicates that our Champions League ambitions are not at all supported by the squad we have, as we simply lack the quality when compared to other European clubs. And I`m not talking about 2-3 clubs, I`m talking about some 10 clubs who have a better squad, a better starting eleven and more “world-class“ players.

The indicators are the market value of the players and of the squad as a whole. And even though these indicators may be argued, as they do not necessarily reflect experience, will, form, luck, (factors that may be as important), to my guessing they are the closest thing to a shaping a clear picture of where we really stand in the CL context.

Squad value (by transfermarkt.com): In terms of squad value, we currently sit on a comfortable 11th place in the chart of European clubs. Funny or not, we are actually closer to Everton (16) and RB Leipzig (17), than we are to Liverpool or Man. City.  Astonishing picture really when you think of the wages and the transfer fees we pay.

  1. Liverpool – 1.08bn,
  2. M. City – 1.08bn,
  3. Barcelona – 878.5m,
  4. Bayern – 874.65m,,
  5. PSG – 858.75m,
  6. Real Madrid – 855m,
  7. Chelsea – 838.9m,
  8. Man Utd – 799.85m,
  9. Tottenham – 738.5m,
  10. Atl. Madrid – 735,5m,
  11. Juventus – 690.2m,
  12. Inter – 685.10m,
  13. Arsenal – 631.95m,
  14. Napoli – 593.98m, 
  15. Dortmund – 587.25,
  16. Everton – 514.60m
  17. RB Leipzig – 514.58,
  18. Leicester – 469m,
  19. Milan – 409,9m,
  20. Wolves – 387.90m

First XI value (transfermarkt): Some might say that we may not have a valuable squad of 23-25 players, but we still can field a competitive first XI. Well….as it goes to show, our starting XI is still closer to Everton and Leipzig than it is to Liverpool and Man City.

  1. Liverpool – 845m,
  2. M. City – 766m,
  3. Bayern – 666m,
  4. PSG – 647m,
  5. Barcelona – 640m,
  6. Real Madrid – 610m,
  7. Man Utd – 583m,
  8. Atl. Madrid – 566m,
  9. Chelsea – 536m, 
  10. Juventus – 519m,
  11. Tottenham – 477m,
  12. Inter – 463m,
  13. Dortmund – 448m,
  14. Arsenal – 406m,
  15. Napoli 391m, 
  16. RB Leipzig 347m,
  17. Leicester – 342m,
  18. Everton 339m,
  19. Milan – 316 m,
  20. Wolves 315m

Valuable players: Others might say that we still have the individuals required to compete for at least a place in the CL semifinals. Well, yes, we have Ronaldo, Dybala, De Ligt, but that`s about it. There are still 10 clubs who can field more players worth at least 60m.

Players worth >60m

  1. Liverpool: 8;
  2. M. City – 7;
  3. Bayern – 7,
  4. Barcelona – 6,
  5. Real Madrid – 5,
  6. Atl. Madrid – 5,
  7. PSG – 4,
  8. Man Utd – 4,
  9. Chelsea – 4, 
  10. Inter – 4,
  11. Juventus – 3,
  12. Tottenham – 2,
  13. Dortmund – 2,
  14. Napoli – 1, 
  15. RB Leipzig – 1,
  16. Everton – 1,
  17. Milan – 1,
  18. Arsenal – 0,
  19. Leicester – 0,
  20. Wolves – 0.

Players worth 30m-59m 

  1. Chelsea – 10, 
  2. M. City – 9,
  3. Real Madrid – 9,
  4. Arsenal – 9,
  5. Juventus – 7,
  6. Liverpool: 6;
  7. Man Utd – 6,
  8. Napoli – 6, 
  9. RB Leipzig – 6,
  10. Bayern – 5,
  11. Barcelona – 5,
  12. Inter – 5,
  13. Leicester – 5,
  14. Atl. Madrid – 4,
  15. Tottenham – 4,
  16. Dortmund – 4,
  17. Milan – 4,
  18. Wolves – 4.
  19. PSG – 3,
  20. Everton -3,

The conclusion I draw is that even if money doesn`t always talk, as Man. City have failed over and over again in the quest for CL glory and Juve have crumbled in front of Ajax and Lyon, it is clear that we are by no means favourites to win the CL. As I said earlier, in terms of market value, there are 10 better equipped sides in Europe.

We could say that we miss at least some 150m-200m worth of value in our starting eleven to challenge for CL. That means either signing some 3 supersonic players or hoping that Kulusevski, Chiesa, Morata, Bentancur, Arthur, Demiral will up their game and increase their value.

It`s really disturbing news, to have just the 11th most valuable squad, considering the investments constantly made by our club. It`s no secret that Juve has a huge payroll, but what literally scares me is that we have spent nearly 1 billion Euros over the past 5 years:

Expenditure starting 16/17 season, the season of our last CL final  (transfermarkt.com)

  1. Barcelona – 1.04bn
  2. Juventus – 957.13m
  3. Man. City – 933.91m
  4. Chelsea FC – 894.30m
  5. Man. Utd – 764.38m
  6. PSG – 745.50m
  7. Inter Milan – 682.40m
  8. Atl Madrid – 650.90m
  9. Arsenal – 592.44m
  10. Real Madrid – 585.75m
  11. Everton – 584.87m
  12. AS Monaco – 562.25m
  13. AC Milan – 539.32m
  14. AS Roma – 532.10m
  15. Liverpool – 526.08m
  16. Dortmund – 517.94m
  17. Napoli – 508.09.m
  18. Sevilla – 482.05m
  19. Tottenham – 466m
  20. Leicester City – 460m
  21. Bayern Munich – 398m


Yes, 957.13m! Where did that money go? You could build a winning squad from scratch with that money, yet we have failed to improve what was already a CL final quality side at the time.  So, where did the money go? Some of it was spent on Ronaldo (117m) and De Ligt (85m), but still…where is the rest? Well…the following might have a clue: Higuain (90m), Bernardeschi (40m), Douglas Costa (40m), Danilo (37m), Matuidi (25m), Pjaca (23m),  Romero (26m), Pellegrini (22m), Cancelo (40m), Cuadrado (20m), Lemina (10m), Caldara (19m), Rincon (8m), De Sciglio (12m), Benatia (17m), Perin (14m)

Some of these might have been of some use, but our inability to spend wisely and truly build something is alarming. It`s not just bad spending, it`s a failure of colossal proportions. We were lucky enough to finance this madness by winning a below par championship 9 times in a row, by being a 1st pot team in CL draws and by being the only italian team in the latter stages of CL, but it won`t last for long.

It`s time to get back to spending wisely and hand picking the needed talent, otherwise this mercato turmoil will continue and will do us no good. The positive thing is that this summer`s mercato showed promising signs of it, but more is needed.

Until then, let`s keep our feet on the ground and wish good fortune to our young core. Much of our future depends on them.

AM

Contributed by @adrianmanole