The Croatian striker, after a poor start to the season and much criticism from fans and the media, is again on the front pages of Italian papers. Named the best player of Juventus in November, Mario is a workhorse that plays both attack and defense, a sight that particularly delights Juventus fans.
Index.hr reports on 7 December, 2016 that Mandžukić has so far played 17 games (1,124 minutes) for Juventus: 14 in Serie A and three in the Champions League. He has thus far scored five goals and has one assist. But after the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain for 90 million euros from Napoli, the Croat was perhaps thinking about leaving the club…
“At the start of the season Mandžukić did not like that Argentina’s Higuain and Dybala gained advantage in the attack and Mario was thinking about his future, and even about leaving Juventus. However, Dybala’s injury gave Mandžukić the right opportunity and he overshadowed Higuain,” writes La Repubblica.
“From the Turin departure of Arturo Vidal to Bayern Munich the team lacked a warrior, but Juventus has just got it in Mandžukić. Simply, he is better at attacking, but he is great in defense as we could see against Atalanta. Mario is perhaps currently the best player in the entire Juventus because he plays the game for the team, as opposed to Higuain, who has been criticized for his game,” adds the Italian newspaper.
The “Juventus Croatians” Mario Mandžukić and Marko Pjaca, who we have been informed today on Vecernji List will return back to the pitch early next year, face Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday in Turin to play the last group game in the Champions League. Currently, as Group H stands, Juventus has 11 points, Sevilla with 10, Lyon with 7, while Dinamo has none.
“Mandžukić is good, is in great shape, and tomorrow he will start the game in attack with Gonzalo Higuain,” said Juventus coach Allegri at the Hina news conference in Turin.