It’s Clear Who Juventus Need To Buy To Clinch Next Year’s Serie A Title In The Summer

The offseason purchases of Mirlalem Pjanic from Roma (€32 million) and Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli (€75.3 million) haven’t debilitated the selling clubs, but they have had the desired effect for Juventus. Higuain has scored 19 goals, tied with Edin Dzeko for the most in the league, and no Juventus player has more assists than Pjanic.

Even more importantly, Napoli, the team that ran them closest last season, will come short of last season’s total of 82 points while Juventus look poised to surpass their own total of 91. There’s no surer gauge of the impact of that transfer.

Napoli’s place as runner-up has been taken by Roma, who’ve shaken off the loss of Pjanic in midfield due to the maturation of 28-year-old Belgian international Radja Nainggolan.

Prior to this season, Nainggolan primarily served as a defensive midfielder and with good reason — his tackling is frighteningly good.

This season he’s been pushed further forward and with devastating effect. After scoring six goals in 35 matches last year, he’s already bagged nine in 25 this term. He's become one of the world's most complete midfielders. 


And the guy only scores screamers. Look no further than yesterday’s 3-1 win over Inter Milan for proof. Nainggolan scored two and they were both bangers.

Juventus began their plundering early this year with the January purchase of Matt Caldera from Atalanta for €15m. Nainggolan outlined his commitment to Roma by shunning advances from Chelsea last summer and signing a contract extension through 2020.

At 28, Nainggolan is entering the peak of his powers on the pitch. Roma are a talented and experienced side, but their capitulation against Porto in the Champions League playoffs tells you all you need to know about the gap between themselves and Europe’s top teams.

Chelsea went as high as €40 million to try to lure him to Stamford Bridge. After this season’s exploits, you can only imagine what price tag Roma have assigned to him now.

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