Youth UPDATES of key Juve youngsters

27 Mar

With a hotchpotch of internationals curtailing and colliding with the regular fixtures its a tricky time for pulling together streamlined reports of our finest youth talent, but try I must, for if I lose my rhythm now, momentum will be lost and with it, my up until now keen and constant eye cast firmly on the future in black and white jerseys.

Let us begin with a peek at one of my favourite acquisitions by Paratici and Beppe, from a fairly impressive selection they have brought to the club since embarking on the path of major revitalization of the flagging juventus youth sector.

Gabriel Appelt

(Prior to signing for Juve, Gabriel was playing for Brazilian club Resende…Its an old video, yet still demonstrates his abilities)

Finally back in the swing of things and approaching the fine form of late 2012, the Brazilian regista has played every minute of the last three outings for struggling Pro Vercelli. The hard fought 0-1 away win over Padova was followed up with a devastating 2-3 home reverse to Brescia, but yesterday’s huge 1-3 victory on the road against Spezia leaves the Serie B débutantes still within sight but not yet touching distance of salvation. 8 points separates them from the Spezia team they outplayed, out-muscled and outwitted, who despite the defeat sit in 19th position on 36 points. Pro Vercelli stay 21st on 28 points. With 9 games left to stave off the threat of damnation and relegation, Gabriel’s unpredictable basement dwellers will need to hope that Spezia are devastated by the result, that their morale has started to sink, with infectious ever increasing weight on their hearts and souls, dragging them down, deeper and deeper into the mire.

What is useful for Gabriel and for us in turn as juventini all eager to see our young seedlings blossom into great oaks and vicious venus fly traps, is that the Brazilian has not only regained his form and starting spot very soon after returning from a nasty injury (fractured fibula), but he is receiving the added education and toughening up of a relegation dog fight. The longer Pro Vercelli can continue to smell an escape from the purgatory of their own making, the better for senor Appelt.

Played 16 (3 SUB appearances, 1 substitution)
Scored 1
Assists 2

NB. His fractured fibula kept him out of first team contention from 17th November – 26th January

Alberto Masi

Alberto Masi – Future Juventus centre-back???

Its a good sign, as with Gabriel at Vercelli after his injury, that Masi, once finding himself in contention for a starting place at Ternana, has grabbed it and made it his own, putting in several rock solid performances over the last few weeks. The elegant centre back, likened to Nesta last year, has started and finished the last four for Ternana, a run which has seen them successfully achieve a quartet of clean sheets on the bounce. I suspect its more than a mere co-incidence that the run began with Masi’s inclusion in the starting XI. His team reside in 12th spot with 40 points, 6 away from the play-off zone.

Its taken some time for Alberto to force his way onto the starting team-sheet, but now he appears set to stay put until the end of the season. Positive signs indeed. Much was written of the lanky stopper when we signed him outright in the summer of 2012 and his season must be seen as one of success and progress. He has made the step up from Lega Pro to Serie B football with confidence and quality, and its fair to wonder if his form this season will be enough to possibly win him a spot at a lower ranked Serie A team for next season. At 20 years old, another season in serie B wouldn’t do him any harm…

Played 18 ( 2 SUB appearances, 1 substitution)
goals – 1
3 yellow
1 red

Seldom mentioned is a player who recently made his 18th appearance for the Italy U21 squad and has been enjoying a fine season with promotion chasing Brescia. 22 year old midfielder Fausto Rossi has been a consistent performer for both club and country and this season, it could be make or break for him in terms of a continued association with Juventus. His contract runs until the middle of 2014, but surely its time to make a decision on a player with obvious talent. Ideally, Brescia will gain promotion and be eager, after his 23 showings this season, to retain his services for their return to the top flight. Failing which, it seems likely that Fausto will be loaned, yet again, to another club in the second tier or used as a make-weight in a deal for a Serie A player. From our perspective, it can only be positive to see him continuing to turn out for the Azzurini, as well as playing a regular part in Brescia’s charge towards the play-offs. As for Fausto himself, dreams of earning a call from Conte seem far-fetched at present and for the foreseeable future given the powerful state of our midfield.

Fausto has been deployed by Brescia coach Calori generally as one of three centre midfielders, sporadically placed further up the field in a more attacking role in the middle behind the two strikers, more often than not in a 3-5-2 formation. Which potentially suggests him as a viable option for our MVP region. But our MVP is now MVP/P, with Pogba already at the stage of development and potency which places him next in line for any of those 3 positions. Asamoah is also likely higher up the pecking order and more than able to play in the Marchiso or Vidals roles. Then there is Isla, who once back in form could be used in the middle. So where could young Fausto fit in??? As the back-up of the back-up for the back-up???

A huge challenge lies ahead if he is to make it back to piedmont…

Played 23 serie b ( 7 SUB appearances, 7 substitutions)
2 assists
Played 5 Italy u21 (2 SUB appearances, 1 substitution)
1 assist

I’m giving Leali a break…not due to a lack of information, but others deserve their time in the limelight for a change. Suffice to say, he has continued his VERY impressive form, although gave a silly penalty away recently which directly contributed to a defeat for Virtus Lanciano. He has much to learn, but what is clear now, week in, week out, is that he has extraordinary natural talent, is very vocal and commanding in his area, enjoys the cat-like reflexes so important in any top keeper, and all that he lacks is experience.

Following on from Rossi is another player seldom spoken of in Juve circles. A player who scored a beautiful goal at Old Trafford a couple of years back. ().

At 21 years of age, Manuel Giandonato has represented Italy at every youth level, managed 8 games for Lecce in serie A, and is currently enjoying a solid spell at Cesena after putting in a good shift at Vicenza before his late January move. Swapping the dogfight at the bottom offered by Vicenza for the relative mid-table comfort of Cesena seems a wise choice and confirmation of his value in the midfield. For why else would Cesena have wanted a regular part of a failing team??? He likes to shoot and get involved in the attack as much as possible although is content and often used in front of the defence in a more defensive role.

The right footed central midfielder is facing a similar problem to that of Rossi, namely : is there ever going to be a chance for him at Juventus given the quality of the players in our squad presently occupying his position?.

Unfortunately, the best Manuel can hope for is progression to a team in Serie A next season, who will showcase his talents well enough to earn the attention of Conte. Even then, what of Pogba and Marchiso and Vidal and the rest??? Its pleasing to see him play well in a regista role, and the same can be said of Appelt, for if any part of the MVP midfield is to be up for grabs in the next year or three, its the Pirlo element. As things stand he will be fighting against Appelt and Buoy for the chance to get in the mix for the that role.

So far so good, a solid season of…
Appearances 22 (9 SUB appearances 8 Substitutions)
3 assists
1 goal

Our primavera team got back to winning ways in the league with a savage 1-5 mauling away to Parma. The big fella up top, Stefano Padovan, grabbed a hatrick with Ruggiero and Beltrame wrapping up what turned out to be a comprehensive slaughter and return to their devastating pre-viareggio form. Padovan now has a stunning record of 13 goals from 14 games, with his strike partner Beltrame in hot pursuit with 7 goals from 13 outings.
Untersee Garcia Rugani
Cavion Gerbaudo Mattiello(Slivka 61′) Ruggiero (Di Benedetto 81′) Schiavone
Beltrame Padovan (Penna 72′)


Padovan 41′, 63′(pen), 72′
Ruggiero 81′
Beltrame 85′ (Pen)

With the second leg of the primavera coppa set for April 16 , contrary to earlier reports, the primavera now have a fairly open fixture list, which should allow us to regain a decent lead at the top of the league, gain some vicious momentum and allow some of our recent additions to the squad a chance to settle in more thoroughly. Cevallos and Pepic have hardly featured, but one of the new arrivals from January who has already caught the eye is …Vejabah Sakor.

I feel the need to offer a brief update on the slowly, but surely rising star of Mr. Sakor, who has recently played a captain’s role in Norway U17’s solid showing in the elite stage of the U17 European championships. Losing to Italy 1-0, edging past N. Ireland 2-1 and drawing their final group match 1-1 with Holland was only enough to place them 2nd in the table, meaning the end of the road.

At 16 years old he is captaining his country, gave a great showing in the Nextgen series for former club Rosenborg and has already managed 2 appearances for our U19 primavera outfit. We must keep an eye on the lad…There is something special about him. So young, yet so strong, both physically and technically.


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