Football News

Maurizio Sarri reveals the position he has identified for Paulo Dybala this season

By Steve Jennings

Published: 10:36, 24 July 2019

Maurizio Sarri has said Paulo Dybala will primarily play in a central role for Juventus this season.

Dybala’s future has been a source of speculation in Italy after a difficult 2018/19 season, but Sarri insists he has a position in mind for the Argentinian.

Dybala’s difficult 2018/2019: Five key things to know…

  • Dybala was Juventus’ main attacking threat in 2017/18, scoring 26 goals in all competitions.
  • However, he was pushed out wide last term to make room for Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • The 25-year-old found the net just 10 times, bagging only five goals in Serie A.
  • But Sarri has suggested Dybala will return to the centre this season.
  • The former Chelsea boss has also hinted at Dybala and Ronaldo playing as a strike partnership.

Sarri is known for sticking to his rigid 4-3-3 formation, which only allows for one centre-forward – and that’s likely to be Ronaldo.

But the former Napoli coach has suggested he may switch to a 4-3-1-2 this season so that Ronaldo and Dybala can play together up front.

“I think Dybala can play as a false nine quite comfortably,” Sarri said.

“We can also set up the attack slightly differently, with the 4-3-1-2 and Dybala playing on the right of a front two.

“We’ll try to give continuity to the good things we did in the second half [against Tottenham] in Singapore.”

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Sarri clarifies Juventus captaincy decision

Former Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon has returned to Turin following the expiration of his contract with PSG, but the goalkeeper will not resume the armband.

Sarri explained that Giorgio Chiellini will continue to serve as captain, a decision that was made with Buffon’s blessing.

“The captain is Chiellini, as agreed with Buffon,” Sarri said. “If there’s no Giorgio we go for the next player with the most appearances and [Leonardo] Bonucci has the most.

“I told the lads that it was my idea, but I was willing to listen to others and things went well.

“For me, however, the armband is only symbolic. The captain has the right attitude in the dressing room.”