Juventus, Arsenal or Real Madrid: Where Would Locatelli Fit Best?

On the heels of an impressive season at Sassuolo, Manuel Locatelli became the primary target at Juventus in this summer transfer market.

Even after the departures of Fabio Paratici and Andrea Pirlo, followed by the return of Massimiliano Allegri, the Neroverdi star remained on the Old Lady’s wish-list.

However, the Bianconeri were unable to seal the deal prior to Euro 2020, and the player’s performances earlier in the tournament (against Switzerland in particular) attracted the interest of some foreign top sides – most notably Arsenal and Real Madrid – putting the transfer to Turin in jeopardy.

So what would be the midfielder’s best option from a tactical perspective?


As we mentioned before, Locatelli is in fact the player that Juventus fans have been awaiting for months now, and for a good reason.

Last season, the squad’s Achilles heel was its midfield department, and more specifically, the lack of true regista who can direct the play and put his stamp on the match.

Although some observers consider the 23-year-old to be more of a box-to-box midfielder, his strong physical presence, his ability to read the play, as well as his impressive distribution skills suggest that he has what it takes to fill the deep-lying playmaker role and shield the backline at the same time.

With Max Allegri being a fan of the three-man midfield, and is more likely to play a shade of a 4-3-3 formation, a player in Locatelli’s characteristics is truly needed, and would allow the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Arthur to play in more advanced roles.


Last week, Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali mentioned that a foreign club is well-interested in signing the Azzurri star, and most observers believe that the team in question would be Arsenal.

Unfortunately for the Gunners’ fans, in the last years they have been witnessing their beloved club steadily slipping out of the top spots and falling into the Premier League’s mid-table.

Whilst the North Londoners don’t look like the most attractive destination at the moment, it must be said that Mikel Arteta’s squad is filled with talent, and can become much more competitive if the right players arrive this summer.

With Houssem Aouar reportedly close to joining (another Juventus transfer target) a coup for Locatelli would surely revive the English club’s midfield department.

While Granit Xhaka could be set to join Roma, and Thomas Partey failing to convince last season, Arteta would be more than happy to hand the midfield keys to the young Italian, whose physical attributes would be well-appreciated on the British shores.

Real Madrid

Perhaps an outside bet, but the link has been mentioned nonetheless. In Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modrid, Real Madrid arguably own the best midfield trio in the last decade – and they have the titles to prove it.

However, age has been catching up with at least one of them, and the need for fresh legs in the Spanish capital can no longer be ignored.

Following Carlo Ancelotti’s return, Locatelli would find a compatriot and a potential father figure in the former Milan, Juventus and Chelsea manager.

That being said, replacing Casemiro in the defensive midfield role would be a very complicated task for the Sassuolo man, whilst the extraordinary technical abilities of Modric and Kroos are too tempting to be dropped, even if their physical conditions are not what they used to be.


Whilst a move to Los Merengues in undoubtedly seducing, the Euro 2020 winner could find it very difficult to break the starting lineup in Madrid, as many other youngsters struggled before him.

As for Arsenal, the former Milan youth product could play an important part in restoring their status if other important coups were to be made – but it remains an extremely dangerous adventure.

Therefore, Locatelli would probably be wise to join Juventus, where he’ll find familiar faces awaiting him – the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci – and willing to protect him, whilst he cements himself as Italy’s rising midfield force.

Read More – Locatelli: “Juventus Is a Great Club, I Am Pleased About Their Interest”