Loan report: What future does U20 international have at Juventus?


It isn’t rare to see Juventus sign young players and loan them to smaller clubs. Luca Pellegrini and Cristian Romero are recent examples. Riccardo Orsolini and Alberto Cerri are players who had similar experiences around two seasons ago.

Romero was signed from Genoa and sent back to the same club and Pellegrini was signed on a cash plus player deal from Roma and is now on loan at Cagliari. Leonardo Spinazzola went the other way and Pellegrini went back to the club that the Giallorossi loaned him to last season.

Pellegrini played in the Under-20s FIFA World Cup for Italy and impressed. His performances helped the Azzurri Under-20s reach the semi-finals of the tournament and they lost to eventual Champions Ukraine.

A left-sided defender who can play at centre-back or left-back and is very composed on the ball. He has appeared five times in the league for Cagliari this and has done a decent job. It hasn’t been an exceptional season but the Italian has been a regular.

Rolando Maran’s men have played a 4-3-1-2 shape and Pellegrini has been the regular left-back. In the narrow shape, Pellegrini is seen marauding down the flank and defending it. In the occasional 3-5-2 shape, Pellegrini plays at left wing-back.

For the Italy Under-20s, Pellegrini played in central and defensive midfield too. That is a testament to his technical ability on the ball that allows him to play multiple positions.

Pellegrini heatmap v Verona (via Whoscored)

His performance against Hellas Verona shows how he likes to operate on the flank. He was all over that flank and even took up central areas. He won three tackles- the second highest of the game and won 100 percent of aerial duels (via Whoscored).

Pellegrini likes to get forward at times too, even though he is in defensive areas most of the times. He has made one dribble per game this season and that is the second-highest tally for the club this season (via Whoscored).

He is one of those players who won’t ever do anything too special. The former Roma man likes to keep things simple and prefers not to overcomplicate things. He is smart and intelligent.

Coming to Juve though, there is no shortage of defensive talent in the team. Romero will come back next season and Matthijs de Ligt is being seen as the partner for Merih Demiral in the future.

The club has two aging defenders in Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. They probably won’t last longer than the next 2-3 years. Pellegrini has been compared to the latter because of their left-footed tendencies and due to how Chiellini often played on the left during his younger days.

Pellegrini isn’t as spectacularly built as Chiellini but is as technical as him. Both of them have been blessed with a pair of good feet below a good footballing brain. A comparison of their past stats would be unfair.

As similar as they are, Juve have been known to sell players that they loan. Andrea Favilli, Emil Audero, Cerri and Rolando Mandragora are examples. Even Moise Kean is an example.

The club has now started to believe in on-the-go recruitment and has had to sell some players to make financial profits. That was evident when they accepted offers for Paulo Dybala and offered Emre Can to clubs like Barcelona.

One thing is clear- there is a player in Pellegrini. The fact that Juve signed him and loaned him out despite not having a second-choice left-back says a lot. The fee that they shelled out for him would make him easy to sell too.

That seems the likeliest. Juve will probably sign an established player in his position to earn a profit out of Pellegrini’s signing by selling him for a bigger fee.