There was a lot Juventus did to try and sign Mauro Icardi in the summer transfer window of 2019. It didn’t work out, as the failure to offload players let them down. On deadline day, they were dealt a huge blow as Paris Saint-Germain acquired the infamous Argentine’s services on a loan deal with an option to buy permanently.
It was seen as one of the stories of the summer. Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara had been keen to see her client stay at Inter, who were desperate to let him go. It became a complicated situation with no party willing to back out from their stance. But in the end, Icardi fell out with the Nerazzurri and PSG came along towards the very end of the transfer window.
It was a blow to Juve, but the Bianconeri hadn’t sold the players to get the money to bring Icardi in. The likes of Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Emre Can, Gonzalo Higuain, and some others were being linked with a move away from the club but nothing came across, despite their best attempts.
Icardi, on the other hand, has been doing very well for PSG. Playing as the striker who could be Edinson Cavani’s replacement, he is in front of a quick and creative attack. He is that “fox in the box” who has to put chances away by being right on the shoulder of the last defender.
So far this season, Icardi has been impressing in France. He has a tally of eight Ligue 1 goals and five goals in the UEFA Champions League, playing regularly ahead of Cavani (via Whoscored). The Uruguayan has made only four starts in all competitions, scoring twice among those (via Whoscored).
With Cavani’s contract running out in the summer of 2020, PSG seem to have a replacement for him ready. Reports are saying that Juve will try again, but it will be far from an easy chase. PSG will come in to sign him permanently and they will probably be willing to shell out big money on him.
The idea for Juve was to re-energise their attack as they have an ageing front two. Cristiano Ronaldo will soon be 35 and Gonzalo Higuain turned 32 some days ago. Together, they have had a hand in 18 goals in all competitions. But for an ageing side that looks to play a dynamic brand of football, a spurt of youth is needed in attack too.
Blaise Matuidi and the injured Sami Khedira aren’t having the best of seasons. The technical demand on them isn’t helping them at all. They’ve never been technical midfielders in their careers – they’re more grafters than playmakers. It is playmakers that Sarri would want, considering how sluggish the Juve attack has been.
That lack of creativity from midfield isn’t helping Juve at all. Icardi isn’t a mere fox in the box striker too – like Higuain, he can get involved in play too.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel feels that Icardi is more than a goalscorer. He recently said (via SempreInter): “He told me he could play from the start, as he did against Real Madrid, practically without training. It is good because he is a boy who can do it all and this helps us a lot at the moment,”
In the Serie A, he always played about 1 key pass per game in about every season. It stood at 1.2 last season, 0.9 in the season before, and 1.3 in the 2016-17 campaign. It shows that Icardi can get on the ball and create – something Sarri wants in a striker, something that Higuain does as well.
There could be questions about the tantrums of Wanda Nara. Juve fans would know that it will always cause problems for the club. But the key is to keeping him happy: Wanda would be able to get her family back to Italy and that will get Icardi back where current home is. Moving to Paris has been a rather different experience for the family, but they still have a house in Italy.
If Juve can keep him happy, it should be a big consideration for them.