With the season expectations now narrowed to 4th spot in the table, with sole remaining potential for silverware in the coppa italia, many minds are moving to the Summer. When great hope abounds of further widespread renovation of the squad.
Given the large bail-out bundle of cash injected by EXOR to manage our debts and failure to progress in the CL knock-out stage, it seems reasonable to assume we will not have 10s of millions to spend on mega pricy signings in the close season. And yet the glaring facts remains all over the field of the need for both raising the technical level and also finding a better balance.
It is possible that some of these issues could be solved by turning to our youth sector. Most of the discussion of this possibility focuses upon Matias Soule, Nicolo Fagioli and Nicolo Rovella. Rightly so, for the two Nicolos in particular both play in that Regista/DM position which has troubled us for years now and Soule has also looked very promising higher up the field. I have probably seen more of Fagioli than the others, and rate him highly. His form for Serie B title challengers Cremonese has been superb.
However, there is another youngster, still in the Juve ranks, whose talents seem of higher level…
Fabio Miretti, 18, has long stood out as a potential phenomenon. With his rise through the various youth groups to seniot football quickening in recent times.
This season, the attacking midfielder has already turned out for the U19s, U23s and briefly for the senior side.
U19 – exclusively used in the UEFA Youth League, played 4, scored 2. Driving force in the drive to the semi-finals.
U23 (Senior level, Serie C) – 29 appearances, 4 goals, 4 assists
First team – CL and Serie Debuts – 2 appearances
Italy U19 – 10 appearances, 4 goals, 4 assists
Also voted the best youngster in the first half of the Serie C season (as Fagioli was voted in the team of the Serie B at the halfway point)
Comfortable on the ball, able to beat opponents with the dribble and drive forward, regularly demonstrating high level creativity from both deep and in the final third with his superb passing range …and the boy can shoot. He also shows press resistance with an awareness which belies his tender age. And of course, to complete the mega promising overview of his blossoming technique, he is a set piece specialist.
In short, he has a skillset meeting the vital connection between midfield and the final third that we have long lacked.
Due to the injury crisis, with Locatelli added to the medical ward of late, and Zakaria only just returning from his own physical woes, Mckennie out longer term, Miretti has recently been promoted to the senior squad. It seems likely that he will be given at least some opportunity to impress with only Arthur-Rabiot-Zak currently available at CM. We have seen Max deploy Danilo there, but whilst shoring the area up defensively, this sucks further energy from our attacking options from deep. Probably the much maligned Freddy B will be placed ahead of Fabio, due to Max’s focus on experience over…many other considerations, age been pivotal.
Having recently signed a contract extension to 2026, evidently the club were eager to tie him down long term and do believe in his abilities.
I hope that he is given chance to shine in the final stage of this season, and if he does, then perhaps Max will reconsider the rites of passage routine whereby all youngsters have to head out on loan in Serie A before been considered for our first team. If he is good enough, he is old enough…
In recent years I’ve noticed there is a tendency in Italy to consider kids like champions after two or three games, but that is rushing them ahead of schedule. A 20-year-old player can never have the maturity of a 28-year-old. – Allegri this week.
How about giving the most talented youth the chance to develop at Juve, Max? Not calling them champions, but recognising their talent level is high, and seeing they can compete physically and technically at senior level and will likely develop more quickly and strongly alongside better players, better facilities, better coaching…
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