Compared to some of the more notable big-money deals in Europe this summer, the arrival of Kaio Jorge at Juventus has passed under the radar of most headline writers around the continent. Yet the highly talented young Brazilian may become a pivotal player with the Bianconeri, if coach Massimiliano Allegri can unlock his full range of capabilities.
Bargain signing with huge potential
In the midst of a transfer market when top attacking players are fetching astronomical prices, at first glance, the arrival of Kaio appears to be an absolute bargain. Having already caught the eye of Milan and Benfica, who had opened negotiations with Santos, it was Juventus who finally landed the 19-year-old forward.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 4, 2021
Although they had initially agreed to sign Kaio at the end of his contract with Santos, due to expire in January 2022, Juventus decided to fast-track the move and pay a transfer fee. According to Eurosport, Juventus have paid Santos an initial fee of €1.5 million, with a further €1.5 million due in June 2022, plus the potential for €1 million in add-ons.
Since debuting with Santos in 2018, Kaio scored 17 goals in 85 appearances in all competitions. Such numbers are hardly those of a prolific striker, although that’s not entirely why Juventus made their move for the player. He can operate anywhere across the attacking line, filling practically any role, whether out wide or through the middle, offering exceptional versatility.
Kaio is the ideal complement for Cristiano Ronaldo
While the future of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus is under something of a cloud, the arrival of Kaio could help tempt the Portuguese superstar to stay at the club. During his time at Real Madrid, CR7 always benefitted from Karim Benzema carrying much of the load in attack. The Frenchman was usually tasked with the unselfish role of supporting his free-scoring teammate.
Amongst the current selection of Juventus forwards, there’s nobody of the right profile or capable of performing such a role. Indeed, it’s fair to say that Ronaldo can’t rely on Paulo Dybala, Federico Chiesa or Alvaro Morata to produce the same kind of work rate. They are entirely different players compared to Benzema, who complimented Cristiano superbly.
At Manchester United, it was either Wayne Rooney or Carlos Tevez who were the grafters, often doing the dirty work that granted Ronaldo the freedom to play his own game, rather than track back or press opponents. Those are traits which have seen Kaio already being compared to Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, which is a boon for Ronaldo and Juve.
Despite his magnificent scoring record of 101 goals in 133 appearances, Cristiano Ronaldo still has plenty of critics in Italy. That said, Juventus have never built their teams around him, at least not in the same way Real Madrid or Manchester United did. Kaio could now be the complimentary attacking workhorse, thus far lacked by Ronaldo at Juventus.
Allegri aiming to restore Juventus dominance
Unlocking the very best of Ronaldo will be just one of the tasks facing Allegri, following his return to Juventus, who are already being tipped as outright favourites to reclaim the 2021-22 Serie A title. He will also be hoping that new signing Kaio can play an important role in that regard, along with recovering the best of a team which vastly underperformed last season.
Should the vastly experienced head coach manage to do that, it’s hard to see beyond Juventus restoring their dominance of Italian football. That’s what many of the best football betting sites are expecting, although punters are wise to check the latest Arabian Betting reviews, with details of which sites offer the most competitive odds and welcome bonuses, before laying down any bets.
During his last stint at the Juventus helm, Allegri guided the famed Old Lady of Italian football to five consecutive Serie A titles. He also won the Coppa Italia four times in a row, plus the Supercoppa Italiana twice. However, the biggest prize of them all remained agonisingly just out of reach.
Juventus reached the Champions League final twice under the previous tenure of Allegri, only to be beaten on both occasions in 2015 and 2017. The elite European competition will again be the top priority, although they won’t renounce opportunities for domestic success. That’s why the Bianconeri are strongly backed to grab a fistful of trophies during the 2021-22 season.