£30m ‘flop’ turned down Arsenal; He must regret that decision now


After that 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, Brentford away felt like the sternest possible test of Arsenal’s ‘bounce back’. A test which, thanks to goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and the waifish Fabio Vieira, they passed with flying colours; demon exercise August 2021 and regain their place at the top of the Premier League table.

Unfortunately for Max Allegri, his Juventus side don’t seem to share Arsenal’s newfound ability to bounce back from adversity. He felt the trip to Monza was the perfect opportunity for Juve to “bounce back” from their 2-1 home loss to Benfica in the Champions League group stage.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Instead, they became Serie A’s first team at all find himself on the losing side against the newly promoted, previously lackluster Monza; the most devastating and devastating of the 1-0 defeats which extended their winless run to five games in all competitions.

While Arsenal are basking in the sun on top of the mountain, Juventus are falling downhill; rolling past Napoli, Milan and Inter on the way to the bottom. Juventus is eighth. Seven points are moving away. Their Scudetto hopes could be over even before the Halloween decorations hit the shelves.

Manuel Locatelli chose Juventus over Arsenal

And it is somewhat ironic that the player who chose Juventus over Arsenal in the summer of 2021 threatens to become a sad symbol of the former’s decline.

“Locatelli (is) a loser. He looks like a different player compared to the one we saw at Sassuolo,” ex-Roma Stefano Impallomeni told Tuttomercatoweb.

It’s easy to forget, as Locatelli sails through game after game, how different the story surrounding the 24-year-old Italy international was 12 months ago; Locatelli turned down Arsenal in favor of a £30m move to Torino after starring in the Azzurri’s Winning European Championship campaign.

“(Locatelli) only wanted to go to Juventus,” Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali said at the time. “We received offers from Arsenal and other clubs, but nothing could be done. He was determined.”

Doubts remain about Locatelli’s suitability for Allegri’s style of play. Of course, the word “style” is used in the loosest sense. He could also find himself on the bench as ex-PSG and Roma playmaker Leandro Paredes makes his way back to Italy. Things may get worse before they get better. For Juve and Locatelli.

Last year, Arsenal looked like a sleeping giant with their finger permanently pressed on the snooze button. Now it’s Juventus with their heads in the hay.

Photo: Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Next story: ‘Best in the league’: Hargreaves says Tottenham’s £22m ace has one skill better than de Bruyne

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