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Next Up For Juventus Is Dominating Europe

juve-coppa-italiaAfter securing a record-breaking fifth successive Scudetto, Juventus aren’t simply resting on their laurels in their quest to be the very best.

After a horrendous start to last season with just five points after the opening six games, Massimiliano Allegri’s side went on an epic run dropping points on just four occasions between the beginning of October and the end of the season. That run included an astonishing 15-game winning run, the longest of its kind in Europe’s top five leagues last season.

Juventus are not resting on their laurels this summer as their transfer activity indicates that they are aiming a little higher than a sixth consecutive Scudetto next season.

While much of the focus has been on who has left the Champions (Alvaro Morata) and who looks like he will leave (Paul Pogba), Juventus are well on their way to covering the exit of Morata and the potential departure of Pogba.

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Pogba gained a better WhoScored rating (7.81) than any other player in Serie A last season, while no player registered more assists than the France international (12). That figure is level with new signing Miralem Pjanic, who left title challengers Roma for the Juventus Stadium. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international is one of only two players to reach double figures for both goals and assists in Serie A last season, the other Lorenzo Insigne.

His arrival only heightened speculation that Pogba would be on the way out of Turin this summer and Pjanic could be an ideal replacement for the French midfielder. In a three-man midfield with Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio making surging runs from deep to support the attack, Pjanic would have ample space with which to maximize his creative talents, particularly given Juventus’ dominance in Italy.

He is not the only new signing Juventus have made this summer as defender Medhi Benatia has joined on loan from Bayern Munich. Of players to make 10 or more Champions League appearances in the last two seasons, only one player made an interception more often than Benatia (every 22.8 minutes).

Moreover, in his one season with Roma, the Moroccan formed part of the defence that conceded just one goal in the opening 10 games of the season, with his WhoScored rating (7.59) enough to earn a spot in the Serie A team of the season alongside soon-to-be-new teammate Giorgio Chillieni. With an impressive understanding of the game and a commendable ability to play the ball out from the defence, Benatia makes for the ideal centre-back signing for Juventus.

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The big money arrival though would be the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain from last season’s Serie A runners-up Napoli. Juventus are prepared to smash the Italian transfer record to sign the Argentine international and for good reason. He scored more goals (36) than any other player in Serie A last season.

Partnered alongside Dybala, Juventus would have one of the most potent attacks in Europe. His signing, combined with the arrivals of Pjanic and Benatia, would send a real statement of intent to rivals across Europe, signalling that not only are Juventus determined to dominate domestically, but continentally as well.

Pjanic (7.46) and Higuain (7.74) were also rated second and first for Roma and Napoli respectively in Serie A last season, so not only have Juventus strengthened significantly, but they’ve weakened their fiercest rivals for the Scudetto in the process. While on paper, the Old Lady is monopolising Italy’s top tier, it’s a huge declaration that the Serie A champions are going all out to secure their third major European honour.

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