Old Lady shuffle
Juventus have welcomed two major signings in recent times, each taking a somewhat familiar number, partly facilitated by two of the club’s current stars shifting digits.
When centre-forward Dušan Vlahović joined the club from Fiorentina in the January transfer window, number 9 was occupied by Álvaro Morata, who was on loan from Atlético Madrid, and so the Serbian international opted for 7 as it was the closest available to his preferred option.
With Morata back in Madrid, Vlahović has been able to move and that in turn has allowed any other player to swap numbers. Federico Chiesa is another former Fiorentina player and, when he joined on loan (with obligation to buy) during the 2020-21 season, the right winger took number 22 for Juventus.
Chiesa had had number 25 for the Fiorentina senior team but often wore a position-appropriate 7 for the Primavera side – when he joined Juve, Cristiano Ronaldo was 7 – and now he has taken the shirt for the Bianconeri.
His switch has freed up 22 and that has been snapped up by one of the new arrivals, Ángel di María. Previously number 11 at Paris Saint-Germain and 7 during his brief spell at Manchester United, the Argentinian player wore 22 during a very successful stay at Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba is back in Turin for a second spell, having left Manchester United upon the expiry of his contract. Pogba is heavily associated with number 6 – he wears it France, did so for United and also in the first three seasons of his first stint with Juve. First time around, he moved to number 10 when Carlos Tevez left – though with some DIY additions – and, with his successor in that shirt, Paulo Dybala, moving on, the Frenchman has re-inherited it.
As of now, nobody has taken the number 3 shirt, which had been worn by the recently-departed Giorgio Chiellini since 2005.