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Roberto Pereyra’s importance for Juventus points to flexible future

Juventus’ announcement that they have exercised their option to sign Argentinian attacker Roberto Pereyra on a permanent deal for a pre-agreed price of around £10m from Udinese, illustrates a clear direction in the Turin team’s transfer policy.

The energetic seven-capped La Albiceleste star provides graft, guile, pace, tenacity and an excellent work-rate, though it is perhaps the 24-year-old’s flexibility, having been deployed everywhere from wing back to central midfield that has turned his temporary stint at the Piedmont club (14/1 with Coral to lift the Champions League) into a regular gig.

Old Lady boss Massimiliano Allegri, who initially attracted criticism for straying from predecessor Antonio Conte’s successful 3-5-2 formation, has proven with his thrilling run to the Champions League final, that a little variety and versatility can go a long way.

The Italian likes to flex his managerial muscles, and be able to switch seamlessly between strategies, but for that the ex-AC Milan coach requires recruits that are tactically intelligent and able to operate effectively across numerous positions.

Of course this is nothing new as, before Allegri took to the Juve bench, the Italian giants already boasted an array of adaptable players, though the coach has certainly made full use of his multi-talented men.

Marauding full backs Patrice Evra and Stephan Lichtsteiner make it easy to transition between a back four and a system including rampant wing backs, while Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal et al are all interchangeable and more than capable of contributing at both ends of the pitch.

The successive summer striking additions of dynamic forwards Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala, also speak to plans for fluid football and formations, based around a core of young talent, with excellent utility man Pereyra a player to complement the former two perfectly.

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The headline-grabbing capture of Croatian marksman Mario Mandzukic, meanwhile, clearly bucks this trend but every side needs a focal point, and the striker’s signing is clearly one for the short-term, despite being handed a four-year deal, to lessen the blow of the expected loss of Carlos Tevez.

With all that energy and drive in the side, deep-lying playmaker and pass-master Andrea Pirlo’s presence is vital, though the evergreen midfield linchpin covers more ground than he gets credit for. Getting Germany international Sami Khedira on a bosman looks set to cover for the veteran’s mooted departure for the MLS, but the Old Lady would certainly suffer the lack of a cool head.

Lazio have been linked to the ideal replacement in Bayern Munich’s midfield orchestrator Xabi Alonso, who would be an excellent short-term stopgap for Juventus (odds-on at 4/7 to retain the Scudetto) should the Spaniard wish to see out his playing days in the slower pace of Serie A.

Centre back could also use rejuvenation with a versatile young talent, though Italy Under-21 Daniele Rugani could provide the solution to that problem. The Old Lady, meanwhile, seem more concerned with reshaping their forward areas, with apparent targets Juan Cuadrado, Stevan Jovetic, and Oscar further potential flexible recruits to fit in with a roster suited to an adjustable attack.

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