As transfer gossip envelops the minds of those awaiting the start of the season, one piece of news broke on Friday that delighted Juventus fans: Alessandro Del Piero and Andrea Agnelli seem to have mended their alleged broken relationship, having a coffee together and perhaps discussing the ex-captain's return to his beloved Old Lady.
Undoubtedly Juventus, like every football club in the world, have made their fair share of mistakes and for many fans, one of them was allowing Del Piero to leave. In fact, even Andrea Pirlo, one of Agnelli's biggest fans and a man he felt great love for upon meeting him. agreed Del Piero's loss was a tragic one.
"It's a shame really, because Del Piero still had plenty to offer Juventus. A guy like him is always going to come in handy. Great people and exemplary professionals are the sort of folks I'd want at my side 24 hours a day and Alessandro is both those things," wrote Pirlo in his book.
Many criticised the Bianconeri president for not honouring Pinturicchio's devotion to the club but this writer wasn't one of them. There is no denying the beauty of Del Piero and Juve's relationship and whilst he is that rare breed of footballer, one who still values loyalty and nobility, Agnelli knew that in order for Juve to evolve and develop, they needed to follow the coach's ideas and move forward with the next generation. In professional football, sentimentality rarely results in success.
Pinturicchio was a captain who never requested much and was happy to sit on the bench. But with him on the pitch, players would have felt it their duty to honour him, to follow him and to treat him as their reference point, even if it was not requested of them. In essence, that could have destroyed the unity on the pitch, the notion of equality.
Francesco Totti of Roma continues to provide performances, but his presence forces certain choices, while his absence may result in better decisions, greater team evolution. Yet Del Piero's departure remains a traumatic experience for those who idolised the man, both on and off the pitch. Thus his possible return has set pulses racing. Agnelli will always be criticised, but no man worships the Old Lady like he does. And he will make every effort to maintain her successful present, and that starts with allowing her to be led and inspired by those players who made her great in the past.
Pavel Nedved has proved vital to the Juve project. His input is valued, and his understanding of the philosophy has made the difference. Milan's project began to fail when they lost the men and legendary symbols that contributed to their success. Juventus cannot do the same, thus it's vital to keep the Old Lady in the hands of those who introduced her to her many honours, and that includes David Trezeguet, Nedved and now possibly Del Piero.
The search for the former captain's replacement continues, and Carlos Tevez filled that void wonderfully, so it was only normal that his departure caused great sadness. Effective on the field and a leader in every sense of the word, he will be missed. However, his departure to Boca Juniors has paved the way for a youngster to arrive in Turin -- a wonderkid as some have described him. Guido Vadala, the 18-year-old support striker, is excited to start his Juve career.
A player who scored 32 goals in 29 games, there really is something special about the boy some have likened to Lionel Messi. Like the Barcelona prodigy, Vadala was born in Rosario and boasts mesmeric skills on the ball, in particular his remarkable ability to dribble past defenders with ease. His movements so smooth and delicate, he tends to always win one-on-one duels and his acceleration is delightful to watch.
A player with a low centre of gravity, he's comfortable on the ball and rarely allows opponents to take it from him, progressing with ease and making life impossible for opposing defenders looking to stop him in his tracks. Once allowed to shoot, he is both effective as well as capable of scoring the goals that can match those of the greatest superstars in football. Explosive and determined, he scored seven goals in a single match in an Argentina youth championship game and was named Argentina's outstanding youth player for 2013.
Versatile and exciting, Vadala earned the nickname "Chiche," which means "little toy," for his ability to bring joy to onlookers in whatever position he plays. Due to his small and compact stature, he may not be offered the time to demonstrate his skills to full effect, but Juve only hope their traditions and eagerness to develop world stars will continue now that they have another prodigy within their grasp.