ALVISE CAGNAZZO: Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes have left a depleted Juventus in the lurch ahead of Serie A’s return due to their lengthy World Cup celebrations – the Argentine duo look destined to leave this summer and they won’t be missed
- Two Argentine stars only returned to Turin on January 2 – infuriating supporters
- Lautaro Martinez returned to Inter Milan earlier to try and gain some sharpness
- Neither Angel di Maria or Leandro Parades likely to be ready for first game back
With neither having set the world alight since joining the club this summer, it was hoped that a successful World Cup might kick both players into gear for the second part of the season – after at best spluttering starts to their Juventus careers – which begins on Wednesday evening.
However, both Di Maria and Paredes enjoyed extended breaks in Argentina – infuriating Juventus supporters who felt that they should have returned at the end of last month in time to be at least in contention for the trip to Cremonese.
Juventus supporters have been left infuriated by the failure of Leandro Paredes (centre) and Angel di Maria (right) to return in time to be ready for their first game back
Both are almost certain to leave Juventus in June 2023 with no extension contract proposal forthcoming from the club.
The situation surrounding their return has caused a lot of problems for the club with supporters left furious over their non-return.
Lautaro Martinez, a world champion like Di Maria and Paredes, decided to bring forward his return to Italy to have some robust training in his legs before the league season starts back up again.
Di Maria faced a tough few months in a Juventus shirt through injuries but scored in the World Cup final
Adrien Rabiot also anticipated his return by coming back to Turin in timely fashion while Paredes and Di Maria attended a New Year’s Eve party organised by Messi. The photos and videos of the celebrations created discontent in the media, and made the supporters furious.
This attitude has annoyed everyone: from the players to the fans. Allegri faces a trip to strugglers Cremonese shorn of a number of key players owing to injury, with supporters viewing Di Maria’s and Paredes’ non-involvement as totally unnecessary.
Paul Pogba, Dusan Vlahovic, Leonardo Bonucci, Mattia De Sciglio and Juan Cuadrado are all definitely out for Wednesday’s away game.
Paredes and Di Maria both spent an extended period in Argentina celebrating the World Cup
Di Maria still has six months of contract but most likely he will return to Argentina – and specifically – Rosario as his career nears its end.
Paredes, on the other hand, proposes a different conundrum. His loan expires in June 2023 and Juventus currently have no intention of spending the best part of £20million to buy him outright.
Their salaries are very high and cutting the two players would allow Juventus to save around £26m gross – and thus free up valuable funds for the purchase of a high-class player.
Paredes (R) joined from Paris Saint-Germain last summer on loan but has struggled throughout
Di Maria’s lowlight of his time in Turin came when he was sent off against Monza in September
Both struggled in the early knockings of the season. Di Maria suffered two quite unusual injuries while he was also suspended after being sent off at Monza.
Paredes, on the other hand, has so far been a mysterious object, a UFO that landed in Turin in the last days of the transfer market, if you will. He was let go by Paris Saint-Germain after another season in which they failed to win the Champions League and had other suitors during the summer but he has failed to light it up with the Italian giants.
The growth of youngsters Nicolo Fagioli and Fabio Miretti has left people wondering if his place on the bench might now even be under threat.