Juventus’ new gem on the left: Is Andrea Cambiaso the Old Lady’s first-choice left-sided option?

Juventus, for a number of reasons, had a quiet summer transfer window as far as signings were concerned. With Andrea Cambiaso returning from loan, though, they've added a gem to their squad who already looks to be one of Massimiliano Allegri's favourites.

-

In a summer transfer window that has seen Juventus struggle to make significant additions to Massimiliano Allegri‘s squad – their plans of course hindered by their European ban – it was almost logical for many to overlook the return of Andrea Cambiaso to Turin.

After completing his second consecutive season in Serie A during a loan at Bologna in 2022/23, where the 23-year-old earned a starting spot under Thiago Motta, Cambiaso returned to the Bianconeri for pre-season with the plan being to be assessed by the coach and staff. But it was always thought that his chances to make his stay at the Allianz Stadium permanent were slim, notably in a position where Filip Kostic had played 37 out of Juventus‘ 38 Serie A fixtures in the previous season.

Yet, Cambiaso took little to win Allegri over, and he proved that he can be more than a backup option. His solid displays in the summer friendlies were followed by an impressive Serie A debut for Juventus, assisting Adrien Rabiot‘s goal to help Juventus dispatch Udinese 3-0 in a convincing win on the opening matchday.

But beyond having a hand in the third goal of the night, Cambiaso showed an excellent attitude and provided Juventus with some new tactical solutions that made the team more fluid and unpredictable, hinting that he may get plenty more minutes than even he had expected, of course at the expenses of Kostic himself.

Andrea Cambiaso’s dream start at Juventus

Andrea Cambiaso plays a pass for Juventus. [@juventusfcen]

While Cambiaso started his first Serie A game with Juventus as a left wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation, his interpretation of his position was more than flexible and arguably in line with Allegri‘s attempts to turn his side into a more tactically sophisticated team.

In his 70 minutes on the pitch, before being replaced by Samuel Iling-Junior, Cambiaso looked excellent with the ball, completing 97% of the passes he attempted. That statistic includes a pinpoint cross for Rabiot, but his contribution when out of possession was also noteworthy.

A two-footed and technical player, Cambiaso didn’t limit himself to running up and down the left flank but looked to thrive on a more complex football style that required him to make decisions according to his teammates’ movements.

Andrea Cambiaso and Florian Thauvin battle for possession in Udinese vs Juventus. (@juventusfc)

The former Genoa starlet proved the ideal player to help Federico Chiesa settle as a second striker; Cambiaso‘s ability to come inside the pitch was crucial to open gaps on the left that both Chiesa and Rabiot could explore, making Juventus‘ attacks much more difficult to read for their opponents.

Has Filip Kostic become a Juventus outcast?

Cambiaso‘s impact on his Juventus debut made many reconsider the team’s pecking order in that position, although Filip Kostic‘s solid debut season had been enough to earn him a spot as an undisputed starter.

Filip Kostic in action for Juventus. (@juventusfc)

After joining the Old Lady last summer on a €12 million move, the Serbian proved a reliable asset for Juventus as he delivered 11 assists across all competitions, also scoring three goals.

His offensive contribution was of huge importance for a side that lacked creativity and struggled to muster scoring opportunities, probably forcing Allegri to rely on Kostic‘s polished left foot more than he would have hoped or planned to.

Yet, as the summer gave the coach time to regroup his squad and explore new options, Allegri seemed to shift towards a more modern style to shape a team with varied offensive solutions.

With Juventus only taking part in two competitions this season – Serie A and the Coppa Italia – Kostic could see his playing time drastically reduced, which has sparked rumours of a potential departure from Turin.

Is Andrea Cambiaso now first choice for Juventus?

We’ve seen signs of how Allegri has been working on finding new solutions to the problems that affected his side last season, and Cambiaso‘s influential role was amongst his most effective moves.

It is unlikely that the Italian coach will change a tactical approach that is visibly bearing fruit. At this – still early – stage, a one-dimensional player such as Kostic simply doesn’t seem able to match Cambiaso‘s wide range of capabilities both with and without the ball. So, is it fair to conclude that Cambiaso will remain the go-to option on the left, at least for this first phase of the season?

Should the Serbian stay at the Allianz Stadium, his technical skills and ability to create opportunities almost singlehandedly could still be a valuable asset for Allegri to exploit in the closing stages of games. More than that, Kostic‘s experience would make him a reliable alternative to Cambiaso during the latter’s more-than-probable dips in form throughout the season.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Must Read

Every Serie A shirt for 2024/25

0
With Inter's title win and the 2023/24 season as a whole now no more than a memory after a disastrous 2024 Euro Championship showing...