Turin’s golden boy is coming to a crossroads in his career with Juventus as Paulo Dybala nears the end of his contract.
The Argentine playmaker has been at Juventus since 2015, when he joined the club from Palermo. Since then he has been a fan favourite of the club, with his wand of a left foot creating many a magic moment for them to remember.
But now with his contract due to expire in the summer of 2022 and having just turned 27 years old, Dybala has a decision to make.
It’s been confirmed by the club hierarchy that they have made an offer to extend his contract, with club president Andrea Agnelli quoted as saying:
“We see him as the captain of the future. I know he has already received a proposal that would put him among the top 20 best-paid players in Europe. We’re looking forward to his response.”
Since then though, Dybala’s agent has responded by stating that the offer being spoken of is from over a year ago and there has been no movement on it since. He did add that he is open to further talks with Juventus, although they haven’t spoken recently.
Whether they manage to come to an agreement is really down to Dybala, who must decide if staying at Juventus where he seems to be a pawn in a side that challenges constantly is what he wants.
For all his ability and his reputation that he has earned, it seems to constantly be Dybala who is put to the side when a big name comes in.
Due to his lack of versatility, any formation that doesn’t contain either two up front or a number ten tends to see him greatly under-perform. With that said, whenever he is played in his preferred position he tends to be one of the better performing players in the team.
When Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at the club, he was moved out to the wing by Max Allegri to accommodate the Portugal legend’s needs and struggled. The following season under Maurizio Sarri, he was originally not in the club’s plans and was allowed to leave the club.
He came incredibly close to a move to Manchester United, only for the deal to fall apart over personal terms before Dybala decided to stay and fight for his place.
He then managed to break into Sarri’s team and performed pretty well, with Ronaldo coming from the left and Dybala playing as the central forward. The two struck up a good relationship as Juventus won yet another league title.
Since Andrea Pirlo’s appointment though, the Italian has opted for a front two of Ronaldo and summer signing Alvaro Morata. The partnership has blossomed, with both men scoring plenty of goals and turning in good performances on a regular basis.
This has meant that once again Dybala has found himself on the sidelines, struggling to make an impact in the games he has been given an opportunity in.
With the likelihood that he will continue in that substitute role for the remainder of the season at least, Dybala will enter the final year of his contract next summer as a diamond in a rough patch.
He could well sign a new deal and work his way back into the team again, with Ronaldo turning 36 in February he won’t be around forever. His better option however make be to look for pastures new.
Premier League sides would definitely be interested once again and with a lower transfer fee, his wages may not be a problem anymore. He’d also likely attract plenty of interest from Spain, with the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid most likely to want to acquire his services with their ageing squad.
Paris Saint-Germain have always shown an interest in ‘La Joya’ too, so his options would likely be far from limited.
With that said, he is clearly loved at Juventus right now. The fans love him, he knows the club, the hierarchy are obviously keen to keep him and he has shown that when given the chance he can perform to a high level in the league.
It’s something he should consider when making this decision, as it’s likely to be the last one he needs to make at the top level of football.