Does Paulo Dybala deserve a new contract at Juventus?
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo was in a hopeful mood when he was asked about Paulo Dybala’s return from injury.
“I hope that tomorrow he will train a little with us to have him available as soon as possible with the group,” said the Juve manager following his side’s 2-0 victory over Roma on Saturday to move the Turin side into third place, just seven points behind league leaders Milan.
Indeed, Dybala’s return may be welcomed by the club as they begin the process of offering the forward a new contract to stay at Juventus beyond the terms of his current deal, which expires at the end of next season.
According to Calcio Mercato, the club are hoping to tie the player down before the possibility of him leaving for free presents itself.
But considering everything that is happening at Juventus right now, does Dybala really warrant a new deal and is he a part of Pirlo’s future squad?
Lingering doubts about Dybala
To say Dybala has had a disappointing season at Juventus thus far would probably be a bit of an understatement. In 16 games in all competitions the 27-year-old forward has managed just three goals and two assists.
A thigh injury at the start of the season and then a nasty ligament injury have ruled Dybala out for large chunks of the season, limiting the forward to just seven starts in the Serie A this season and a bit-part role in Pirlo’s team as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Morata and even Federico Chiesa have hogged the limelight.
Indeed, the worrying trend with regards to Dybala’s standing in Juventus’ squad isn’t so much that he’s missing game time this season but that he’s been struggling to match the kind of performances that made him a world star earlier in his career.
So far this season he’s averaging just 0.29 goals per 90 and 0.19 assists per 90. While last season’s averages of 0.49 goals and 0.32 assists per 90 were much better, they were still some way off the kind of form he was enjoying in the 2015/16 and 2017/18 season. And as we can see from the graph above, his performances on the whole have been edging downwards each season.
It’s with this in mind that Pirlo and the Juventus hierarchy will undoubtedly have to reevaluate just where Dybala fits into the club’s plans going forward. Unless the former star can reignite his previous form, it looks as though he’ll continue playing second fiddle to the likes of Ronaldo and Morata for the foreseeable future and may even be overtaken by younger prospects.