Juventus are looking to win their 10th Serie A title in a row | Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images
If you wake up every November with a foolproof plan of how to maintain Juventus’ domination over Serie A on Football Manager but end up getting sacked within the first six months, then look no further.
90min is here with a guide mapping out the first ten things you need to do on a Juve save on FM21.
Juventus have relied on the elder statesmen in their squad for a number of seasons | Stefano Guidi/Getty Images
Gianluigi Buffon, Georgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo are all 32 years old or over.
Juventus have relied upon the elder statesmen in their squad in recent seasons to deliver success, but now might be the time to start moving them on.
With Buffon, Chiellini and Khedira in the final year of their contracts, it could be wise to let them run their deals down, freeing up considerable funds in your wage budget and allowing room for younger players with more potential to star in the squad.
Bernardeschi has spent considerable time on the Juventus bench | Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
If you’re a true Football Manager player, you’ll do the decent thing and turn the first transfer window off, ensuring the realism is kept to a maximum. But, if you can’t resist the urge to make some early deals, you’ll be faced with a fairly restrictive budget.
The Old Lady’s board will give you £23m to play with, which in today’s market won’t get you very much. Therefore, selling some fringe players in order to raise funds will be a necessity.
Shifting players such as Aaron Ramsey and Federico Bernardeschi should ensure you have enough in the bank to secure the star you want/need.
Dybala is one of the most talented players in the Juventus squad | Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images
Paulo Dybala was close to leaving the Juventus Stadium last summer under Maurizio Sarri with a move to Tottenham or Manchester United looking likely, but the Argentine star stayed put.
The forward, who often thrives when playing just behind a central striker, rediscovered his best form as the 2019/20 campaign unfolded, finishing the season with 17 goals and 14 assists in all competitions.
With only two years left to run on his current deal, it’s vitally important that you convince the 27-year-old to put pen to paper on an extended contract, otherwise, you could be losing one of your most talented players for a fraction of his true value.
There is currently a large imbalance in the Juventus squad | Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images
The Juventus hierarchy has been guilty of poor planning and substandard recruitment for some time now, which has resulted in an unbalanced squad.
You’ll inherit a side with three right-wingers in Bernardeschi, Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa but no natural left-wingers. You will also discover your central midfield options include the talented Arthur, Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot, as well as the ageing Khedira, injury-prone Ramsey and Weston McKennie on loan from Schalke.
Therefore, the left-wing position and the engine room will need addressing as well as the centre of defence, centre-forward and left-back. Bonucci and Chiellini winding down their carrers, Alex Sandro is the only senior left-sided full-back and Ronaldo and Morata are the only strikers. The latter is also on loan from Atletico Madrid, so a more permanent solution will be needed.
Dybala and Ronaldo will be your main attacking threats | Stefano Guidi/Getty Images
Getting the best out of the players you’ve got is pivotal to any Football Manager save, especially when you have talents like Dybala and Ronaldo on the books.
Using a 3-4-1-2 would ensure this could happen, although it would leave your talented wingers out of position. A 4-3-3 is another possibility that would make room for Chiesa or Kulusevski on the right-hand side but would leave Dybala out of position on the left.
A 4-2-3-1 may be the best option then, giving Dybala the role just in behind the striker that he thrives in.
Alex Sandro hasn’t been in top form for a couple of seasons | Enrico Locci/Getty Images
As previously stated, the current squad possesses no natural left-wingers, and Alex Sando is the only senior left-back.
21-year-old academy graduate Gianluca Frabotta has made three Serie A starts so far this season but has yet to really impress, meaning the left-hand side is a real weakness for the Old Lady.
Brazil international Sandro has seen his form come into question over the last couple of seasons, and at 29, he isn’t likely to improve any time soon.
Ronaldo has two years left on his current contract | Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Ronaldo has two years left on his current contract meaning the prolific Portuguese forward will see you through your opening period in charge of Juve.
However, he can’t go on forever, and with your first-team priorities likely to focus elsewhere, finding the next wonderkid who plays up-front and finds the back of the net for fun should be an immediate task for your top scout.
It will save you money in the long run and ensure you can strengthen in other areas while he develops. Clubs in Argentina and Brazil are the usual destinations that guarantee success in these types of scouting missions.
Marchisio was the last Juventus academy graduate to be a huge success | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
During Juventus’ period of recent domestic domination, they have prioritised bringing in players from other sides that are at their peak. Now it may be time to focus on the ones already at the club.
The Old Lady’s youth academy has been far from fruitful over the last decade or so, with Claudio Marchisio the only star name breaking through into the Juve first team.
18-year-old attacking midfielder Franco Tongya is the pick of the current crop and could turn into a world-beater if you train him right.
Kulusevski is very highly rated | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
While a large portion of the Old Lady’s first-team are ageing and past their prime, there is a significant number of potentially world-class talents ready to fill the void.
Matthijs de Ligt, Merih Demiral, Kulusevski, Chiesa and Bentancur are all 23 or under, with plenty of room to improve. Ensuring these five receive enough game time in your opening campaign could be crucial to future success.
Cristian Romero and Luca Pellegrini will spend the first 12 months getting some valuable game time on loan at Genoa and should be ready to be integrated into your first-team squad in 2020/21. If you get the best out of these stars, then life will be a lot easier.
Kean came through the Juventus academy | Chris Ricco/Getty Images
You will only be able to promote youth academy graduates if they are good enough, therefore, making a request to the board to improve the quality of the youngsters they bring to the club is essential.
This shouldn’t be a problem considering the size of Juventus and their ambitious owners, but you may have to win their trust in the first six months or so to get any requests granted.