21 Defender Juventus Italy
Imposing and classical central-defender, (none of this covering at full-back lark) never gives an inch and has earned a heap of praise for his work with Empoli. Wonderfully old-school somehow, happy to do the spit and sawdust work in defence while applying a touch of class. A big threat at set-pieces too.
2015 has been…
…really good but has now come to a stop.
May as well get this out of the way, Daniele Rugani is very, very good. In two seasons with Empoli he has performed flawlessly, he’s already involved in the full international squad (a full cap will come in time we’re positive) and he has a huge future ahead. We hate stereotypes, but he’s going to be a near-perfect stereotypical Italian central defender. So with all this positivity why are only giving him a C?
He returned to his parent club in the summer who bought out the percentage of his rights Empoli had taken, awarded him a 5-year contract and had no less a light than Pavel Nedved calling him “the future of Juventus”. Since the season’s start he has, at the time of writing, played four minutes of football. Ahead of him the Bonucci-Barzagli-Chiellini triumvirate is strong, too strong as things stand, and this season has stalled completely.
Juventus have history of giving young players a chance and there is a belief in the club that he will be a first choice defender for over a decade. The problem is when - will he have to spend the whole season waiting for injuries to give him a chance? Will something happen in the summer and next year he’ll be there? Impossible to say and all the goodwill in the world doesn’t convince like playing twenty to thirty games this season would.
Needs to get into the first team, plain and simple. He’s clearly good enough, he will definitely make it and we will go out on a limb and say you’re potentially looking at a future Italy captain, but the timescale? No idea.
He’s ready now and in a position on the pitch where experience and game time is vital, we hope he’s not getting rusty. We wish he’d had another season out on loan in truth but perhaps that’s us being selfish. At some point he has to try and get into his parent club’s first team, now is as good a time as ever we suppose. This is a proper player, we just hope you get the chance to see that for yourselves in the next twelve months.
C Harsh mark but fair considering the lack of football this season and the difficulties ahead, will be brilliant but no idea when or where…
If you've enjoyed reading the #IBWM100 please make a donation to help us keep the site ad free.