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Juventus Youth Update – Cherubini Interview and Winter Mercato


Better late than never, comes the best parts of an interview with the technical director of the Juve Youth Sector – Federico Cherubini. Who is also vice Sporting Director under Beppe Marotta. His focus is mainly the loaned players and also the U19s (where players are blooded before heading out on loan). He had been working under Paratici since the 12/14 season, heavily focused on our scouting network and made the step up to his current position for this current campaign.

On B teams…

The number of loans would be halved and the maturation of the boys would take place within our own ranks. Other advantages? It would create a competitive team with the added value of making a truly complete path: if Kean had remained at Juventus, he could have trained with the first team, possibly be available to Allegri, otherwise play with the second team in B or C. And even in the Youth League could have still played in the U19s. At that age it is important to take full advantage of your training, never miss a week of work and every weekend play a competitive game. Now Kean is following his path with the great Verona, but if I think of many other guys … »

On the focus of training from earliest and above in the youth sector…

Our goal is to build players of a certain level, not victory. This directs the choices: a thirteen year old already trained who will then play in Serie D is stronger than a thirteen year old who will play in Serie A, but that has yet to develop. We have chosen the most difficult road, focusing on the technique. The increase in the average level of the player treated in Vinovo is now leading to combine training and results: as happened with the Scudetto Giovanissimi last year. This year we are competitive in all categories, but with very technical players, who will arrive. At Juventus fortunately there are professionals in the youth sector who do not seek satisfaction solely in winning a championship, but I saw in tears the debut of a boy in the first team. For satisfaction, however, we must know how to wait years. Marotta and Paratici in this are exceptional: the purpose is never the result, that is related to the first team ».

In the basic training, from Under 7 to Under 13, the general principles are very linked to the game and, on a physical level, above all to the development of coordinative activities. In the competitive range, from Under 14 to Spring, we set the principles of play that we would like to see, leaving freedom to the coaches on the form and focusing on ball control, because this way the player grows and improves with the ball. We want to reduce the hours of tactical exercises as much as possible , because the tactics are important in the first teams, and to favour the activities with the ball “.

on Scouting…

It is an area that belongs to Paratici, which follows it with great attention and holds weekly meetings with us. There is one person responsible for Italy, Mattia Notari , and one for the foreign leagues, Matteo Tognozzi , who reports to supervisor Pablo Longoria. In Italy we have about 20 observers, plus three specific figures abroad. For children up to 14 years, which can only be taken in the club region, we rely on the Academy in the area. From the age of 14 upwards, 10 young people from other regions can be registered each year: we follow them in the clubs through our observers, who place their relationships in an information system. All are read by the scouting secretariat, filtered through degrees of judgment, cataloged and reported to those responsible. And Paratici reads all of them. Then we send a lot of people around, because we like the feeling live : the observer, beyond the computer relationship, has to call the managers and say, “look, I saw a guy who really struck me as a talent”.Allegri? He is very attentive to the youth sector . Since the reconstruction of the field Ale & Ricky has allowed the Primavera to play at Juve Center there is the advantage of contiguity and Allegri, Marotta, Paratici, Nedved often attend the games. Sometimes the players of the first team also do it, and they often watch Spring on TV when they are in ritoro ».

On relationships with other foreign clubs…

We are affiliated with Zulte Waregem in Belgium, Den Bosch in the Netherlands, Lausanne in Switzerland, and we have a direct contact with Ms. Swarovski, owner of Wattens, Austrian Serie B club 

Transfer news from the January mercato window

There were a fair few deals made earlier this year, some of which might cause consternation, yet there is the caveat of buy-back clauses which is essentially similar to a modern co-ownership routine. And so do not despair.

Pol Lirola, our  20 year old spanish fullback has moved on a permanent-ish basis to Sassuolo for 6.3m.

Another fullback, Federico Mattiello, has been snapped up by Atalanta for 2.5m with potential 2.5m more in bonus payments.

Primavera midfield dynamo Fabrizio Caligara scurries to Cagliari for 2m.

All the above deals included the buy-back clause.

Italu U19 Left Back Alessandro Tripaldelli is set to move to Sassuolo for 1.35m in July. He will remain with our primavera until then.

24 year old striker Francesco Margiotta, who has been loaned to various clubs in Switzerland for many moons now, has signed for our fine chums at Lausanne for 1m.

Former Brazil U17 attacking midfielder Matheus Pereira failed to make any impact at Bordeaux, was shipped off instead to his homeland on loan – the curiously named Brasileiro serie A side Parana –  until the Summer, with possible extension until the end of their season in December.

Cristian Bunino, 21, striker, was sold to Pescara for 1.35m

Italy U20 CM, Mattia Vitale headed to SPAL for 450k.

Nicola Leali, 25, GK, was brought home from his misery at Zulte to then be loaned to Serie B side Perugia. Where has has since been playing regularly for the promotion hopefuls.

Probably the most interesting player we signed in January was Leandro Fernandes. An 18 year old powerhouse of a trequartista, captain of the Netherlands U18 side and a player of sturdy progress and promise for PSV. Of Angolan descent, young Leandro has gone straight into the primavera where he has fast become a Dal Canto favourite.

A curious move was made for Paraguay 16 year old right back Santiago Ocampos Ibarra…who signed from Sportivo Luqueño after impressing at the South America U15 championships where his side finished 3rd.

Riccardo Orsolini, who showed such great promise in Serie B before we signed him and sent him to an ill fated Atalanta stint, has been shipped to Bologna on a two year loan deal.

Towering Austria U21 striker Arnel Jakupovic  was brought in on loan from Empoli for our U19 squad. With a purchase option, thankfully…as his form has been solid. 3 goals and 2 assists from 6 thus far.

Guinea U20 CM Oumar Toure has found senior football at our new friends in Austria, WSG Wattens.

Finally, we have signed outright Leonardo Mancuso, a 25 year old striker of Pescara, for 1.8m. Who will remain with the delfini until the Summer, when I assume he will be used in another deal as a makeweight. Interesting player…Reminds me a little of Inzaghi with his tendency to get on the end of the things and scramble the ball home. Moved from Serie C side Samba to Pescara after a stunning season in 16/17 which provided 26 goals and 9 assists from 43 games. He has fared well enough though less prolific after making the step up to the second tier, played regularly and plundered 4 goals with 3 assists.

For updates on the still underway – at the time of writing – Viareggio tournament, head here.

And for Jas…Alberto Cerri, who we picked up from bankrupt Parma in 2015 on a free is enjoying a splendid campaign with Perugia. 16 goals and 11 assists from 26 games is assuredly enough for us to find him a willing suitor in Serie A in the near future. Yet rumours of including him in a deal for Cagliari North Korean starlet Han Kwang-song continue to gain volume…I’ll add my voice to that chorus.

(Amusing pronunciation of Cagliari…cag-lee-a-ri… by my english kinsmen!…and I’ll add that by ‘international community’ they mean in reality, the US, UK, Israel and their vassals, not the world as a whole)

Forget the politics, let’s sign the Han.