On paper, Juventus have one of the strongest teams in Europe, having added several key players to the squad during this summer's transfer window.
With Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain the latest star-studded name to join The Old Lady, manager Massimiliano Alleri will have a formidable team at his disposal next season, able to genuinely challenge European heavyweights such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Having fallen short of success in the continent's primary competition in recent seasons, Juve will be looking to improve on that front, and the upcoming season could be the perfect opportunity to do just that.
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The team's recent domination of the Serie A is largely owed to the side's formidable defence, predominantly comprising older and experienced players, commanded by Juventus and Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon.
In fact, a decent chunk of the first team is now composed of players who are either above the age of 30, or are nearing that milestone, something that could pose some questions regarding the Bianconeri's ability to perform at the highest level on a regular basis.
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Juventus have a plethora of defenders in the team, with one or two players providing cover for each and every position at the back.
Allegri's tried and tested 3-5-2 system calls for a back three of central defenders, which the likes of Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, and Leonardo Bonucci have occupied consistently.
Possessing great chemistry between the trio, they have been serving together for several years, all of them commanding great ability and composure on the ball in addition to their obviously splendid defensive capabilities.
Chiellini and Barzagli are 31-years-old and 35-years-old respectively, but still possess sharp defensive instincts.
At 29, Bonucci is nearing his veteran years, but age has not stopped the classy centre-back from performing at the highest level. Having been the subject of much transfer speculation this summer, the Italian international is one of the most sought after defenders in Europe.
Providing cover at centre-back will be on-loan centre-back Mehdi Benatia from Bayern Munich, who at 29 years of age, is yet another defender approaching his twilight years.
The only attributes severely lacking in central defense is speed and agility, something opposition attackers could take advantage of. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that these defenders are always on the top of their game.
During an important game against top quality opponents, even a momentary lapse in concentration could prove to be the deciding factor in winning or losing. The relative lack of pace and fitness could, therefore, be a possible Achilles heel for the Bianconeri.
The recent addition of the 33-year-old Dani Alves should see the Brazilian slot into the right wing-back role, with 32-year-old Stephan Lichtsteiner a more than capable alternative.
On the left side of defense, the evergreen Patrice Evra (35-years-old) will continue to operate as usual. The relatively younger Alex Sandro is likely to serve as a replacement for the French veteran.
At 21 years of age, Daniele Rugani is one of the younger defenders in the team, providing some youth in an otherwise aged defense.
Until now, the experience of the defenders and the solid tactics adopted by Allegri have allowed the team to succeed in domestic competitions, but has deprived them of that extra edge needed to succeed on the European stage.
The current defence is by no means a poor one. To the contrary, the back five is probably one of the most organised and solid group of defenders in the continent. But, the age of the players continues to be a slight concern which could make a difference during crucial encounters.
Rest of the Team
The Old Lady's midfield and attack consist of a better balance of ages. However, even these positions contain some signs of aging.
Players such as Claudio Marchisio and Mario Mandzukic are both 30-years-old, unable to be considered genuine long-term options to serve in the side. At 29, both Sami Khedira and Hernanes are also approaching the dreaded 30-year-old mark.
Having lost the promising Alvaro Morata to former club Real Madrid, and with the sensational Paul Pogba on the verge of a move to Manchester United, Juventus are set to lose more young promising players.
Even with the acquisition of the prolific Higuain, the Argentine is yet another player who is in his late twenties. Having finished last season as the league's top scorer, it remains to be seen how long the Napoli striker can continue to perform at such a high level.
The presence of the promising Paulo Dybala provides the team with some youth and energy in attack, set to be supported by creative new signing Miralem Pjanic, having joined from AS Roma.
Other relatively younger players in the squad, such as Kwadwo Asamoah, Stefano Sturaro, and Roberto Pereyra, are not seen as potential candidates to feature regularly in the first team, forcing the manager to place much of the responsibility with the more experienced players in the side.
In the current state of the team, the players are perhaps at just the right age to provide a decent mix of younger and older players. But, with majority of the first team tipping over to the wrong side of 30, surely Allegri needs to look for more long term options to sustain the team in the future.
Will Juventus' old squad hold them back in Europe next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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