Juventus won Serie A last season thanks in no small part to a strong rearguard but does the signing of Miralem Pjanic signal intent for them to defend their title by going on the attack?
The Old Lady are currently 4/7 to retain their Scudetto next season according to the Serie A betting and will be relying on the services of Pjanic to make their dream of a 6th successive title in 2016/2017 a reality.
Having gone on an extraordinary sequence of 1-0 wins and having conceded just 20 goals in the whole of last season’s league campaign, Massimiliano Allegri may well be confident his side can maintain a similar record next season even if they commit more men forward.
The signing of the talented Bosnian from title rivals Roma for €32 million will send a message to the rest of Serie A that Juventus are in no mood to give up their title. Title rivals Napoli, Roma and Inter Milan will all be adding to their squad in the hopes of closing the gap and will be aware that since winning both Serie A and the Coppa Italia it’s been a rough close season for Juve.
Highly rated Frenchman Paul Pogba is constantly linked with a move away from Italy although such a move is yet to take shape.
Despite the form of evergreen keeper Gianluigi Buffon, the age of the Juventus shot stopper will of course be a growing concern for Allegri.
Buffon is 38, Giorgio Chiellini is 31, Patrice Evra and Andrea Barzagli are 35 and Stephan Lichtsteiner is 32.
Due to the lower tempo of the Italian league, it is known for giving players a chance to play well beyond the age found in other major leagues in Europe although Juventus may well be approaching the time when younger legs are required.
Pjanic is a signing that may be a signal of this mind-set, the 22-year-old scored 13 goals in 40 appearances for Roma last season.
He has also starred on the international stage after leading Bosnia to their first ever major tournament when they qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The midfielder is strong in all areas, he can beat a defender, has a great range of passing and has a real eye for goal. Juve fans will also be keen to see him on free kicks next season as the Bosnian has scored many for his previous club.
After completing the double last season, future successes for Juve will be judged on their performances in the Champions League.
Last season they fell to German champions Bayern Munich in the last 16 stage. They are currently priced as seventh favourites and are best priced at 20/1 to win the competition this season.
Many people have highlighted that Pjanic coming in could mean that Pogba goes out, but Juve fans will be relishing the thought of the two in the same team.