Juventus Youth and Primavera UPDATE November 8th, 2013

9 Nov



Since returning from injury, Luca Marrone has played well in the 2-1 home win over Bologna, creating a goal in the process, deployed in the Pirlo role in a familiar 3-5-2 formation. Fought hard, did little wrong, but nothing wonderful in his side’s 1-2 loss to Udinese, again as part of a midfield trio flanked by wingbacks. His latest outing was solid and industrious with the ball, managing a superb 93% accuracy with his 41 passes over the 90 minutes.


Many believe, myself included, that Marrone possesses some real class. Now that he is fit, and gaining match sharpness, acclimatizing to his new surroundings, and has an in-form Berardi in front of him, and the chance to play regularly in his favoured midfield berth…its time he proved himself, and I think he will. Maybe we won’t need to look too far in terms of a Pirlo apprentice, or even challenger…


There has been a change in fortunes for Sassuolo since Berardi returned from suspension and Marrone from the treatment room. Without the striker, of whom we own 50% registration rights, they played four games, lost them all, with a goal difference of -12. With Domenico back in the side, they have won a couple of games, and only lost twice in seven, producing a goal difference of -1. Two assists and five goals in those seven games represents a major attacking threat. At 19 years old, making his debut in the top flight, we are potentially looking at a real gem here…Especially when we compare his stats (a goal every 94 minutes) and form with our other players establishing themselves in Serie A…


Gabbiadini– 2 Goals in 10 serie a starts. One goal per 400 minutes.


Zaza- 3 goals in 10 serie a matches (7 starts). One goal per 234 minutes.


Immobile– 3 goals, 2 assists, 9 serie a matches (6 starts). One goal per 210 minutes.


Manolo is the one who is lacking, and yet arguably playing in the most settled and well seasoned side of the four youngsters in question.


Further afield…


Our surprise signing from Bra, Mbaye Diagne, has yet to make his debut for Ravanelli’s struggling Ajaccio of France, who remain as they have been since the opening few fixtures, perilously loitering near the trap-door.


Moving across the border, bypassing those gritty basque tribes and finding ourselves in the sunny South-east, so close to the sea we can feel it in our lungs when we take our first full breath of fresh morning air…but no, we are not here to swim, to relax in the soothing gaze of the sun goddess. We are here to check on the progress of Richmond Boakye. Who has been in solid form for the struggling newcomers to la Primera. The explosive young striker has scored just the two goals from eight matches, but 6 of those performances have come off the bench and he remains the club’s second top scorer. Too hard to gauge much, but no reason to worry. His promise remains secure.


With the primavera still to cover, the wind howling not quite as loudly as my hellhound desperate for attention and my desire to be outside, strident and demanding, after spending too much time today stuck in the anemic atmosphere of my office, I will focus on not only my three favoured loanees cutting their teeth in the second tier, but also perhaps the presently most promising of our huge flock of youngsters. Thankfully, for the purpose of brevity of research, they are all at Spezia. Who are enjoying a promising start to the season, presently sitting 9th, just outside the play-off zone, on 17 points after 12 games.


Best of Leali 2012/13


Leali (GK)-
Surely destined for Serie A sooner rather than later Nicola Leali has been in fine form for Spezia. Fast establishing himself as the number one choice between the sticks and continuing where he left off last term when he won an award for best goalkeeper in Serie B. Played 9 in the league, 2 in the coppa.
Magnusson (CB)-
Already a regular in the Icelandic U21 set-up, Hordur the Iceman Magnusson has worked his way into the starting line-up. No mean feat for his debut bow in professional football. With more competition for his place, his 9 appearances so far represents wonderful progress for the stopper with great free kick skills confirmed by his 3 assists for his country over the last 3 months.




juve3Appelt (DM)
After impressing in the ill-fated Pro Vercelli campaign of last season, Gabriel has already managed 9 full games for his new club. With only 2 losses in those 9 games it seems his value to Spezia is growing steadily, and in turn his value to us. His position, as a deep lying regista with sound defensive zeal, is surely of interest to us, for we have only Marrone in the Pirlo role with any chance of staking a claim for a chance in our senior squad in the near future.


Briefly, I will mention our two Stefanos, who worked so well together in Baroni’s primavera before the Summer, when both moved on to mix it with the men…


The race for the cultured second striker’s signature was hot over in the close season, with his final destination ending up in Bari whose wretched form finds them languishing in 20th position. 3 starts and 5 appearances from the bench isn’t terrible, but with just the one assist to show for his efforts, its no surprise that he is struggling for a spot in the first XI. With such high promise shown in the recent past, Beppe and Paratici will need to seriously consider finding him a stronger club if Bari continue to falter. On a more positive note, Beltrame continues to play a regular role for the Italian U20s notching up 2 goals in his last two showings.


Our primavera top scorer decided to head to Pescara. And what a shame that Zeman isn’t still at the helm…The Turin born prima punta has been given just the four substitute appearances, setting up a goal in the process, but clearly hungry for more. As with Beltrame, he continues to prove useful for the Italian U20s, scoring once in his last 2 games at international level.


Room for improvement for them both. Yet the season remains young, and their situations can be reconsidered during the Winter mercato if an upturn in form and fortunes fails to appear.




juve4Led by Zanchetta and Grosso, our youngsters have been toiling away on two fronts. Firstly domestically, slowly finding their rhythm after a topsy-turvy start, which was to be expected with so many changes to the squad. At this stage of the campaign, we are third in the table after 6 games. Our latest fixture in the league was a hard fought 2-3 away victory against Parma. Otin, Penna and Tavanti grabbing the goals.


In Europe, Zanchetta has had to negotiate our efforts in the inaugural UEFA Youth League, which marries itself for the group stage to the senior Champions League competition. Our fortunes there have been mixed to say the least.


We began by almost mirroring our senior side with a 2-2 away draw in Copenhagen. Dynamo midfielder Vajebah Sakor and towering centre back Pol Garcia scored the goals. Following this, we smashed the Turks, Galatasaray, 3-1 at home, thanks to strikes from Marzouk, Gerbaudo and Soumah.


Unfortunately that is where the good news ends, for our last two matches in the Youth league have seen us face off against Real Madrid, and lose horribly in the first game 6-2 (Buenacasa, Soumah), then lose yet again at home in the follow-up, somewhat more respectably, 0-2.


With a home tie against the Danes still to come, and a tasty adventure in Turkey set to prove decisive, our future progress in the competition remains in our own hands. We sit third presently, with 4 points from 4 games.


In terms of a favoured first XI…very tricky to discern, but the following seems as strong as anything else we have been adopting.
Untersee Garcia Curti
Emmanuello Slivka Sakor Gerbaudo
Donis Souma


Other regulars include Marin, Cevallos, Barlocco, Marzouk. Audero, Marin.


It seems that Zanchetta is still seeking his best first eleven, and whilst our league form is enough to keep us near the top, we really must improve in Europe.


Overall, a few bumps in the road, the Spezia lads are doing well and I will hope to feel more upbeat when I concoct the next report before Christmas.


Here is a peek at a recent interview with the rising star of Zanchetta’s midfield, Vajebah Sakor-http://www.juventus.com/juve/en/news/sakor_interview




Written By Daniel Pennuto.



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