Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
With the 2018/19 club football season just weeks away from completion, clubs across Europe are already putting their summer transfer plans into motion.
One player who looks certain to make a money-spinning switch in the coming months is Juventus’ attacker Paulo Dybala.
Long-touted as one of the football’s most talented forwards, Dybala has had to endure a campaign characterised by poor performance and positional uncertainly in Turin, and it looks as though Juventus are ready to facilitate a move away from the club for the 25-year old.
At the root of Dybala’s fall in standing at the club was his inability to develop on-the-pitch chemistry with Cristiano Ronaldo – and while the Portuguese megastar continues to thrive, Dybala’s spark has all been snuffed out by Ronaldo’s considerable shadow.
Having been deployed in different roles and at different points along the Juventus’ frontline by coach Max Allegri, Dybala has struggled for consistency, returning just 10 goals in total from 40 appearances for the Old Lady.
Now Juventus look ready to cash in on the Argentine, to help them fund a major squad rejuvenation after another year of Champions League disappointment.
Dybala will have no shortage of suitors this summer, though reports in the media are suggesting that the striker is almost certain to move to a club in England’s Premier League.
Possible Destinations for Dybala
Manchester United – 8/1
Reports from Italy and France this week have linked Dybala with a sensational £80m move to Premier League underperformers Manchester United.
United’s squad desperately needs an injection of quality this summer, and explosive attacker Paulo Dybala certainly fits the bill.
Those same rumours however, have already sparked concern among United’s supporters, who think that a move for the expensive star signals the continuation of the club’s unsuccessful “galactico” recruitment policy, where the signing of “big players” is routinely favoured over “right players”.
Dybala’s considerable social media presence and commercial viability would certainly appeal to the decision makers at United, though the Argentine’s footballing ability is also undeniable.
With the dearth of attacking talent at United, Paulo Dybala could add some much-needed star quality and a genuine match-winner to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options for next season.
Chelsea – 20/1
With his future up in the air, Paulo Dybala was given leave by Juventus this week, and the 25-year old was subsequently spotted and photographed in London, adding credence to the rumours that he and his representatives had flown the UK capital to open negotiations with Chelsea.
Chelsea, like Manchester United, are in the market for fresh attacking talent this summer. The 63 Premier League goals the Blues have registered this season makes them the lowest scoring team in the division’s top 6, and the club are understandably keen to address their lack of cutting edge.
The signing of Paulo Dybala would help to offset the loss of Eden Hazard, whose summer move to Real Madrid now looks inevitable, and the lure of Champions League football next season could be enough to push Chelsea ahead of United in the race for the Argentinean’s signature.
Dybala could of course, be joined at Stamford Bridge by his compatriot Gonzalo Higuain. The veteran poacher is currently on loan at Chelsea from Dybala’s club Juventus, though Maurizio Sarri is thought the be seeking a permanent switch for the 31-year old.
Liverpool – 3/1
Liverpool are one of Europe’s most prolific attacking teams, though circumstances this week have shone a light on a distinct lack of depth in forward areas at the club.
The Merseysiders’ devastating triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah is arguably the most potent attacking trio in club football at present, though injuries to the latter two this week ahead of the club’s Champions League semi final second leg with Barcelona has brought firmly into focus how little cover Liverpool have for their star players.
While the fitness and injury records of their trio of match-winners is generally good, an extended absence for any or all of Mane, Firmino and Salah could have devastating repercussions for Liverpool next season.
With the largely untrusted Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana all used sparling by Jurgen Klopp and Daniel Sturridge’s summer exit from the club looking likely, a Liverpool move for Paulo Dybala would make plenty of sense.
The technically talented attacker possesses all the attributes required to make him a perfect foil for any two of Liverpool’s current front three, though his price-tag could prove prohibitive.
Would Liverpool be happy to shell out close to a club record fee for a player who might not necessarily be a guaranteed starter?
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