Could Leonardo Bonucci cut it in the Premier League at the age of 34?

Martin Macdonald
Leonardo Bonucci

Leonardo Bonucci

According to reports from Italy, Leonardo Bonucci could be heading for the Premier League, with Tottenham leading the race for the Juventus defender’s signature.

At 34-years-old, Bonucci is certainly in the twilight of his career but due to his status as one of the best defenders in Europe over the past 10 years, he is still apparently viewed as a player who could be a positive acquisition.

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Bonucci, and Juventus as a whole, were not at their best in 2020/21 as they surrendered Serie A for the first time in a decade to Inter, while they had to rely on Napoli failing to win on the final day of the season to just qualify for the Champions League after finishing fourth.

Injuries also hampered his campaign as he started on just 23 occasions in the league which is his lowest tally in a single campaign since signing for the Bianconeri.

Though Juventus would be keen to keep him, he is on a lot of money at the Allianz Stadium and they could be open to the idea of getting him off the wage bill as the club are not in the best state financially at the moment.

In the Premier League last campaign, Thiago Silva moved to Chelsea at an even older age than Bonucci at 35 and proved that age can indeed just be a number, particularly for experienced defenders.

Should another team follow Chelsea’s example and try and recruit a wily old centre-back, Bonucci could be top of a few lists.

Who could Bonucci sign for?

Tottenham

FootMercato is the outlet that have reported Tottenham’s interest in Bonucci. Spurs are eager to get back into the Champions League and after looking decidedly shaky at the back last season, the addition of Bonucci would be welcomed.

Crucially, Tottenham are reportedly close to appointing former Juventus chief Fabio Paratici who has been involved in deals surrounding Bonucci before.

But, with the appointment of Antonio Conte now doubtful, have Spurs lost their best chance to land Bonucci?

Arsenal

Arsenal could be a bit light at the back if they don’t bring in an extra central defender this summer as it was recently announced that David Luiz would leave upon the expiration of his contract.

David Luiz

David Luiz

The Gunners may or may not want to avoid bringing in another big-money veteran like Willian, but Bonucci would be an undisputed improvement on Luiz.

They do have William Saliba coming back from his loan spell on Ligue 1, though.

Manchester United

An unlikely one, this, as with the exception of Edinson Cavani, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has prioritised younger players to bring into the club since taking over as manager.

However, one person who would certainly benefit from having Bonucci next to him is Harry Maguire.

The Red Devils will likely target a younger central defender, though.

Liverpool

Liverpool’s defensive issues have been well documented this year, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all missing for the majority of the campaign.

Jurgen Klopp has already addressed the need for reinforcements with the purchase of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, but it is generally assumed that the Frenchman will not go in to be an automatic starter at Anfield.

If Liverpool could recruit Bonucci; Gomez and Konate would be able to learn plenty from the Italian and Van Dijk.