Paulo Dybala had undoubtedly a great first year in Turin during 2015-2016, but it was during this season where he consolidated himself as one of the most valuable football players in the planet. With the departure of Paul Pogba to Manchester United he found himself as the young jewel of the squad, and there were even rumors he would inherit the French’s number 10 shirt, although he finally stuck with the 21 he had since his arrival.
The expectations surrounding the young forward this season were huge, as he had been linked to many other European powerhouses during the summer, even after only one season playing for Juventus. Safe to say he delivered.
Even though he shined for the bianconeri in the Serie A during his first year, scoring 19 goals in 34 appearances, he still had to prove his worth at the Champions League, having only scored once in seven games (nonetheless an important goal against Bayern Munich). This season, although his goal count dropped to 11 in the league, he increased his level considerably in Europe’s biggest competition, scoring four goals, but what’s more important is when those goals were scored and his overall contribution to the team during the crucial stages.
His finest moments of the season was undoubtedly his performance against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals. In little over 20 minutes he scored a brace that paved the way for his team to eliminate Barcelona in solid fashion. In the first goal he showed his finesse with a lovely turn inside the box to put the ball right beside the far post and in the second one he stunned Ter Stegen with a curled effort from outside the box.
Another big moment was his performance against Napoli in the Juventus Stadium during the first leg of the Coppa Italia. While the opponent was less dangerous on paper, they had taken the league at Juventus’ home and were looking slightly more dominant until the Argentinean forward appeared with another brace, first to tie the game and then to score the third one and give his side a comfortable difference for the second leg.
These performances increased the interest of other top European clubs even more, particularly Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Juventus renewed his contract until 2022 for €7m a year and no buy-out clause, so it looks like for the short term at least, Dybala’s future will be written in black and white.
Written by: Hernán Busso/@Hernan1897