Meet the 28-year-old Argentina international departing Juventus after seven seasons to join Jose Mourinho in the Eternal City.
In a bit of a shocking turn of events, acclaimed Argentine attacking midfielder and forward Paulo Dybala is headed to AS Roma on a free transfer after seven seasons and nine major trophies with Serie A rivals Juventus. World football insider Fabrizio Romano notes that the special X-factor creeping out from the transfer market shadows to seal the deal was none other than legendary manager Jose Mourinho, who took the helm of the Giallorossi last year.
All previous signs pointed directly toward the San Siro, where Dybala would presumably be revealed as the newest signing for Inter Milan. Links to the Premier League were also in the mix, with bitter North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal battling to put in a bid to improve their attacking punch (and more importantly, sabotage their foes’ chances of acquiring a significant upgrade in the prime of his career).
And yet, here we are.
Dybala previously heralded his looming departure from Juventus in May, reassuring the club that his future wouldn’t feature black and white stripes nor a gigantic Jeep logo. Immediately after the door closed on a future at Juve, multiple doors opened from other major European clubs.
Since Mourinho’s second stint at Chelsea in 2013, “The Special One” has tried to convince various clubs’ boards of directors that Dybala is the prototypical attacking midfielder that he needs to bring trophies and success. Unfortunately, there wasn’t sufficient desire to shell out the cash needed to acquire the player during the manager’s time at not just Chelsea, but Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Now, after nine agonizing years of barren yearning, Mourinho and Dybala will finally work together — and they’ll have at least three years to acquire as much silverware as humanly possible in a Serie A landscape no longer under a Juventus stranglehold.
Paulo Dybala Contract & Transfer Details
Wages as reported by Spanish media outlet AS.
Transfer fee: None
Estimated market value: $38,500,000 (via Transfermarkt)
Paulo Dybala Stats Per 90 Minutes
|Catagory||Stat Per 90||Percentile|
|Shots on Target||1.56||95|
|Pass Completion %||81.4%||99|
How Dybala Fits at Roma
Dybala and Mourinho’s Roma attack are like a match made in heaven. Last season, the team mostly switched back and forth between a 4-3-2-1 (14 times) and a 3-4-1-2 (10 times). What’s the common denominator? Featuring a central midfield that can control the pace of the game but simultaneously join the attacking buildup to create a serious threat in the final third.
Roma now has one of the best attacking midfielders in the world in Dybala. His meticulous on-ball technique can control possession, but he has the ability to propel the ball upfield aggressively, score it himself, or service teammates like Tammy Abraham. Even with all of that quality as a traditional No. 10, Dybala still presents versatility in the team, as he’s capable of covering at any attacking position up the middle.
With that in mind, Mourinho could run twin attackers up front, forming an Abraham-Dybala partnership that will give defenses fits; he could also presumably serve as a right-winger on the flank, though he’s most likely to start out taking up attacking midfield space.
Roma finished sixth overall on the Serie A table in 2021-22, slightly missing out on a Champion’s League football opportunity. The addition of Dybala not only satisfies the manager, but dramatically increases Roma’s chances of their first top-four finish since 2018.