Juventus' defence has been key to their many years of success in the Serie A. With a historically functional and versatile back-line, Juventus are known for their ability to protect their goal at all costs.
Now Juventus have their eyes firmly planted on lifting the Champions League trophy for the first time since 1996, they're reportedly looking to fortify their defence even further. Known for their budget and desire to sign some of the world's best talent, let's look at how Bianconero may line up at the back next season.
Tried and Tested: Alex Sandro - Giorgio Chiellini - Leonardo Bonucci - Joao Cancelo
This defensive lineup has brought Juventus great success in recent times, conceding the least goals in the Serie A last season and keeping the second-most clean sheets. Though Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are not getting any younger, their defensive partnership is unrivalled and continues to impose a serious risk to opposition attacks.
Joao Cancelo and Alex Sandro have pace and attacking threat in abundance, whilst both being able to put in a strong tackle at the back. Both full-backs would make a fine addition to any defensive lineup of four at the back.
New manager Maurizio Sarri has traditionally preferred playing with a four-man backline, and this defence is likely to satisfy his desires.
Though Chiellini and Bonucci are still both strong and commanding defenders, as Juventus look to the future in order to try and achieve European success, the longevity of this pairing will be put to the test against Europe's elite attackers.
Additionally, Sarri often utilises a defensive midfielder's ability to drop back and join the defence, but this approach is not something that Bonnuci and Chiellini will be particularly used to, with Juventus often utilising midfielders for their attacking ability rather than their defensive skills.
Spending Money to Make Money: Alex Sandro - Matthijs de Ligt - Leonardo Bonucci - Joao Cancelo
With Matthijs de Ligt looking to leave Ajax this summer, the defender's next destination looks set to be Turin. De Ligt has impressed immensely for both club and country, quickly making a name for himself as one of Europe's most sought after players. The centre-back would be a perfect fit for Juventus' backline, with a combination of speed and power to match Cancelo and Sandro.
De Ligt would benefit massively from playing alongside Bonucci, adding even more knowledge and ability to his already impressive arsenal. If Juventus can successfully sign De Ligt, their defence would reach a new level entirely.
With the signing of a new centre-back comes the demotion of one of their current mainstays, Bonucci or Chiellini. Though Bonucci left Juventus for a season, he is younger than Chiellini by two years and this will play on Sarri's mind massively. Having to leave out either of the current Juventus centre-backs is always a negative in our book.
As much as De Ligt has proven himself in recent times, the Serie A is certainly a step up from the Eredivisie. This means the Dutch defender would be thrown into the deep end at one of Europe's biggest clubs, no mean feat for a 19-year-old.
Experience Over Youth: Alex Sandro - Giorgio Chiellini - Matthijs de Ligt - Joao Cancelo
Though Chiellini is two years the senior of partner Bonucci, the Italian still possesses defensive abilities that are sure to scare any attack. At the age of 34 and with years of experience under his belt, the longtime servant of the club could impose a wealth of knowledge upon De Ligt, helping him reach his world-class potential.
The speed of De Ligt, Cancelo and Sandro would protect the ageing legs of Chiellini in covering ground rapidly, ensuring the defender's age doesn't become a problem. With all four of these defenders capable of putting in strong tackles and having a significant physical presence on the ground and in the air, they would make for an extremely versatile defence.
Yet again this scenario forces Juventus to choose between their legendary centre-backs to accommodate for De Ligt. Choosing the older player may benefit the team now, but considering their long-term plans this may be a short-term solution.
The style in which Chiellini and Bonucci play together as a pairing has formed largely around the number of games they've played together for club and country, this may mean any center-back that steps in for one of the central defenders may struggle to pick up where they left off.
New Dog, Old Tricks: Giorgio Chiellini - Matthijs de Ligt - Leonardo Bonucci
The best choice to make the most of signing De Ligt may just be resorting to Juventus' previous style of playing three at the back. There aren't many players that can compete with the defensive pairing of Chiellini and Bonucci, but by adding in De Ligt, the pair could shift into a defensive trio.
The experience offered by having both Chiellini and Bonucci playing alongside De Ligt would be invaluable, potentially allowing him to reach new levels of defensive ability. There aren't many strikers that would fancy their chances of getting past these three at the back.
Though Cancelo and Sandro are impressive full-backs, Cancelo has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City and Sandro had a disappointing season, struggling to complete his defensive responsibilities. By playing three at the back, Juventus could not only alleviate the need for Cancelo but solidify their defensive ability.
Though Juventus have been greatly successful playing three men at the back in the past, Sarri prefers to have four men in his backline. Known for a lack of compromise when it comes to his starting XI, this may mean Sarri is unlikely to consider this possibility a reality.
Also, the speed of De Ligt will likely not be enough to cover the ageing legs of his centre-back partners, and this will create the potential for the Juventus defence to become open to fast counter attacks.
Planning for the Future: Luca Pellegrini - Matthijs de Ligt - Daniele Rugani - Joao Cancelo
Now that Juventus have their sights set on taking their success to the next level in the Champions League, younger players will guarantee longevity in their plans for the squad. With Luca Pellegrini being Juventus' first signing this transfer window, it's clear he's got an important role to play in their plans. Following Sandro's disappointing season, Pellegrini's defensive capabilities and his ability to run for 90 minutes, make him a very impressive candidate for left-back.
As both Bonucci and Chiellini are both reaching the back end of their careers, their experience is still massively important to Juventus and would help to ensure Rugani and De Ligt meet the standard that would be expected of them. With Gianluigi Buffon returning to the club this summer, it seems as if Juve want their club legends to pass on their knowledge to the rest of the squad. If Bonucci and Chiellini stepped back from the starting XI they would also be able to take part in that role.
If Juventus can keep a hold of Cancelo he'd form the last piece in this young and highly functional defence.
Though this defence seems that it will certainly be a success in the future, Juventus will be keen to get off to a flying start, rather than relying on an untested and less experienced group of players at the back.
The ability of these defenders to learn and adapt to a new defensive setting will be vital to any chance of it succeeding, the question is how long this will take.