After winning their eighth consecutive Scudetto, Juventus’ attentions will be fixated on the Champions League once again.
Even the signing of Mr. Champions League himself, Cristiano Ronaldo, couldn’t inspire the Old Lady to glory and bring the most coveted prize in European football back to Turin for the first time since 1996.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side swept all before them in Serie A, but that has become the norm in Italian football and anything less would be deemed a tragedy. Yet their stranglehold on the Coppa Italia came to an end after a shock defeat to Atalanta in the quarter finals.
The signing of Ronaldo was meant to be the final piece in the Champions League jigsaw, but the Italian giants were swept aside by a fearless Ajax at the quarter final stage.
Here are five changes they need to make that could help them conquer Europe next season.
Get Their Hands on a World Class Goalkeeper
Wojciech Szczęsny’s performances were always going to be scrutinised when he attempted to fill the void left by the legendary Gianluigi Buffon.
The Polish ‘keeper, who has made 60 appearances for Juventus, hasn’t put a foot wrong and yet the former Arsenal man still isn’t considered to be in the elite bracket of goalkeepers.
In order for Juventus to bolster their chances of becoming the kings of Europe once again, they may have to test the resolve of Manchester United and Atlético Madrid for their prized assets David de Gea and Jan Oblak.
Get Rid of Some Extra Fat
A squad which seemed to have an abundance of options at the start of the season looked like a team in transition towards the end of the campaign.
Juventus will be expecting all of the other European powerhouses to make improvements to their squads this summer.
In order for the Italian giants to significantly improve on their Champions League quarter-final exit, club president Andrea Agnelli may have to wield the axe on some big names to balance the books.
Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic could be the highest profile names that are moved on but uncertainty also surrounds the futures of Sami Khedira, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa.
Give Their Ageing Back Line Some Help
The era of Juventus’s very own BBC will come to an end this summer as long-serving Bianconeri defender Andrea Barzagli is preparing to hang up his boots at the end of the season.
The 38-year-old conjured up a phenomenal defensive partnership alongside compatriots Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
The trio have dominated Italian forward lines over the years but with fellow centre back Daniele Rugani failing to oust either Chiellini or Bonucci as first choice, the hierarchy may have to seek other long-term replacements.
Juve witnessed first-hand the leadership qualities 19-year-old Matthijs de Ligt possesses, and with all of the European heavyweights chasing his signature, his fate will be in the hands of super-agent Mino Raiola.
Other options which would improve the Italian’s defence could be Barcelona’s out-of-favour centre-back Samuel Umtiti or an audacious move for Raphael Varane.
Pick Apart Champions League Opposition
Ajax could suffer a similar fate this summer to the one Monaco experienced after their Champions League heroics.
Monaco, who reached the semi-finals two years ago, had an all-star cast including Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Fabinho.
Ajax need look no further than the example set by the French giants, whose only remaining representative of that magical season is Radamel Falcao, to realise that they are ripe for the picking – and Juve should take advantage.
Frenkie de Jong is already Barcelona-bound and De Ligt seems close to joining him, but there are still a few players that could make an impact at the Allianz Stadium next season.
Donny van de Beek could be targeted by Juventus this summer after capping off a breakthrough European campaign with away goals at Juve and Tottenham.
The 22-year-old Dutchman would bring the box-to-box presence that Juve are craving and the 15 goals he has scored across all competitions highlight his ability to change games.
Brazilian winger David Neres who also impressed throughout the campaign would bring energy, flair and creativity in abundance, which could well be what five-time Ballon d’Or Ronaldo is craving.
Pinch Serie A’s Best Talent
In previous seasons, Juventus have snapped up some of the most promising talent to emerge from Serie A, so this summer should be no different.
Last year it was the dramatic return of Bonnuci, while in 2017 it was Federico Bernardeschi. Other big names pried away from rivals over the years include Pjanic, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain.
With the obsession of the Champions League looming greater than ever, Juventus will be eager to improve their squad in a bid to compete on all fronts.
Both Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa and Roma’s Nicolò Zaniolo have impressed throughout the campaign, whilst Chelsea target Nicolò Barella would add some grit to the midfield.
In Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly you have two of the best centre backs in Europe who would relish the opportunity to replace Bonucci and Chiellini.