Maurizio Sarri senza cigarette butt.

Where are they now? Maurizio Sarri’s 10 signings as Juventus manager

Over here in the UK, we called it Sarriball. In Italy, it was Sarrismo. The ciggie-chewing former banker responsible for the tactical innovation that took Chelsea to the Europa League title, Maurizio Sarri, has lived a pretty unique life.

Having never played professional football, he took up management alongside his banking job for, as we far as we can tell, the craic. Ended up at the very pinnacle of Italian football as well as serving as boss at Chelsea, where he had his infamous argument with Kepa Arrizabalaga for refusing to be subbed in the dying moments of the Europa League Final (they both say it was a misunderstanding, Kepa and Maurizio… We’re not having it).

Juventus signed some superb footballers during Sarri’s reign. They also signed one bloke we’ve literally never heard of for, we assume, completely normal and not-dodgy reasons. Let’s have a look at those ten signings, should we?

Matthijs de Ligt

Ajax’s 18-year-old captain signed for Juve following some heroic—and team talks—in the Champions League. A total of over €85million including add-ons for a teenage centre-back was a huge statement from the Old Lady.

It didn’t quite work out as well as we’d all assumed it would, and De Ligt is now at Bayern, alongside his doppelganger Eric Dier. The Bundesliga is gone… but the Champions League might yet be in grasp.


The Brazilian is still at Juventus and has become only the club’s second ever foreign captain. The versatile defender has proven to be a very smart signing by Maurizio.

Maurizio Sarri during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Chelsea at John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield, August 2018.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player Maurizio Sarri used as Chelsea manager?

Dejan Kulusevski

The Swede was loaned out to Parma upon being signed by Juve, meaning his time with Sarri was very limited. After two strong years in Turn alongside Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic, Kulusevski was loaned to Tottenham, who have since made that transfer permanent.

Dejan is playing Angeball, now, down on White Hart Lane.

Cristian Romero

Romero never actually played a competitive match for Juventus. After signing, he was immediately loaned back to Genoa, from whence he came. The following season he found himself on loan at Atalanta, for whom he then signed permanently.

As soon as he signed permanently for Atlanta, he was loaned to Tottenham, for whom he then signed.

The Argentinian is still at Spurs, where he collects red cards like we collected Pokemon cards in the 1990s.

Luca Pellegrini

The Roman-born wingback played 21 competitive matches for the Bianconeri during the season 2021-22 season, but has spent the vast majority of his Juve contract on loan. He’s been loaned to Cagliari, Genoa, Eintracht Frankfurt, and now Lazio, who have an obligation to buy if certain conditions are met.

Pellegrini started his career with Roma…

Can’t imagine that’s a warm welcome home on derby day.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? Andrea Pirlo’s 7 signings as Juventus manager

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Juventus’ top 20 goalscorers in Serie A since 2000?

Merih Demiral

The Turk was an exciting young centre-back when Juve swooped to sign him from Sporting, Unfortunately, he wasn’t a regular in the Old Lady’s backline and ended up moving on to Atalanta.

Nowadays, you’ll find Demiral lapping up that Saudi money with Al-Ahli.

Aaron Ramsey

Old Arsenal favourite Ramsey is back at Cardiff, his childhood club, living the pre-retirement dream. Injuries have kept him out for most of the season, as you might imagine, but we love a good homecoming story.

Two-and-a-bit seasons in Italy and a year in Southern France before returning home sounds bloody lovely to us.

Gianluigi Buffon

We just had to make doubly sure that Gigi had finally retired and that wasn’t just some sort of fever dream but, yes, he is retired now. Buffon came back to Juve has a backup keeper and, after two seasons, returned to Parma for a farewell-to-football stint in Serie B.

Gianluigi Buffon, Italy goalkeeper during a FIFA all-stars match against Italy, 16 December 1998

READ: Six brilliant keepers who just couldn’t displace Buffon as Italy No.1

Adrien Rabiot

Andrea Pirlo once said of Rabiot, “He is a complete player. I have rarely seen someone so strong, both physically and technically.”

Pretty big endorsement. Rabiot is still at Juventus and has played over 200 games for the Bianconeri. Solid signing, we’d say.


Mattia Bortolussi

Never heard of Serie C striker Bortolussi? Us neither. According to Transfermarkt, he signed for Juventus on a free transfer from *checks notes* Lucchese, and was sold the very next day to Novara for €200,000…