Last season Juventus had their worst start in the Serie A in 54 years, collecting just 12 points from the first 10 games of their league campaign. Pretty much everyone wrote them off for the title race, but somehow they still won the Scudetto, recording a stunning streak of 25 wins in 26 games, finishing the season with 91 points, 9 more than the runners-up of Napoli. The hard-to-believe comeback achieved by the Bianconeri was a manifestation of the edge they have built over the rest of the league in the last few years. Juventus have won the last five Serie A titles, averaging more than 90 points per season and leading the second placed team of an average of 11.2 points. As if that was not enough, this summer’s transfer window may have further enlargened the gap. Not only Juventus improved with the purchases of players like Gonzalo Higuaín and Miralem Pjanić, but they manged to considerably weaken Napoli and Roma, arguably their two main rivals to the title, depriving them of their two best players. Despite the departure from the team of Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba, two of the best young players in the world, they added depth and quality with the acquisitions of Daniel Alves, Mehdi Benatia and Marko Pjaca, making the Serie A look, at least on paper, more and more like a one horse race, like Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga. https://twitter.com/FlaFu_tbol/status/762587679393447936 Transfers In 2015/2016 Gonzalo Higuaín had the best attacking season the league has ever witnessed. He led the Serie A in shots (5.50 per 90), shots on target (2.51 per 90) and non-penalty goals (1.00 per 90). In doing so he broke Gunnar Nordhal’s 66-year-old record, scoring 36 goals; more than the amount Bologna, Verona, Frosinone and Udinese scored all season. Obviously, his offensive prowess came at a cost: to bring the Argentinean to Turin Juve had to activate the release clause in his contract with Napoli. The €90 M they spent on him, is now the 4th biggest fee ever paid in the world’s transfer market, topped just by fees for Ronaldo, Bale and Pogba. Precisely the money they got for the Frenchman financed the move for Higuaín, but still you wonder if splashing that amount on a soon-to-be 29 years old striker is the right thing to do. To replace a top class striker like Morata, they needed another top class striker and, together with Suárez and Lewandowski, Higuaín is arguably the best in the world right now. Yet el Pipita could offer his maximum output for just two or three season, so if we consider it by itself, it doesn’t sound as the smartest move. However, if we put this transfer in the context of Juventus’ recent seasons and of their entire reinforcement campaign, it starts to make much more sense. Juve have gathered domestic titles in numbers, but they missed European glory, even though they reached a CL final in 2014/2015. Key players like Buffon (38), Barzagli (35), Chiellini (32), Evra (35) and Licthsteiner (32) will have just a couple more occasions to try to win the Champions League, and so Juve decided to go all-in before the start of a new cycle. In order to propel their European hopes, Juve acquired also Champions League veteran and multiple winner, Daniel Alves. At 33, he is a short-term solution, but even if his la Liga output declined last season, he is still one of the best right backs in the world right now. Other than top-class quality the Brazilian offers depth in a role where Juve had just Lichtsteiner (32), after the departure of Padoin and Cáceres: the two will likely alternate, in order to keep both fit in a season that, if everything goes well, will see them competing in 55+ games. Before moving to Bayern, Benatia impressed in his only Serie A season, in which he even scored 5 goals for Roma. He will juice up (and even if he is 29, rejuvenate) Juventus array of elite defenders, establishing, together with Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini and Rugani arguably the best quintet of centre-backs in Europe. Ah, and he will cost just € 3 M, since they got him on loan with option to buy. Marko Pjaca is another tricky transfer. Allegri usually does not field wingers, so the Croatian would be probably deployed as a forward or behind the strikers, either in a 4-3-1-2 or in a 4-3-2-1. Pjaca, who impressed in his limited playing time at the Euros, averaged 0.59 goals+assists per 90 during his Dinamo Zagreb career. As Cuadrado (who could re-join on loan before the end of the transfer window) did last year, he could offer unpredictability to their plays, creating chances for himself and his teammates with his dribbling. Finally yet importantly, Juventus had to find a replacement for Pogba and they found him before they sold the Frenchman to Manchester United. At the start of the summer they acquired Miralem Pjanić, the only midfielder able to hit double figure in goals (10) and assists (12), last season, and subsequently the one with the highest scoring contribution. As you may already presume from this information, Pjanić had the best season of his career and the €38 M release clause Juve had to pay to employ his services is quite big, but there were not many midfielders of the same quality available for the same money in the ever-inflating transfer market. With Marchisio out until October, Allegri will probably use Pjanić as Juve deep-lying playmaker. When the Italian will come back from his injury one of the two would move to the no.8 spot in Juve three man midfield. Last season, the Bosnian had just two assists more than Pogba, but he almost doubled up the amount of key passes per 90 minutes played by the French. We will see if Allegri will decide to play him “à la Pirlo”, or as one of the interior, but no matter how, his vision and understanding of the game will be precious.