Massimiliano Allegri has hit back at suggestions he is compromising Paulo Dybala’s talent by not playing him enough at Juventus.
The Argentine forward signed for Juve from Palermo ahead of the 2015-16 season for an initial transfer fee of €32 million, but has completed 90 minutes just three times in 11 appearances for the Serie A champions.
His use of Dybala drew criticism from the Maurizio Zamparini – president of the striker’s former club – but the Juve coach insisted he has a good track record of coaching young players.
“When I read that Dybala is not playing enough I started to laugh,” Allegri said on Saturday.
“He has excellent qualities and will have a great future. Last season he was a leader at Palermo, but cannot have that same role at Juve yet.
“Anyone saying that is wrong. We cannot put this amount of responsibility on Dybala’s shoulders. History speaks clearly on my management of young players.
“By behaving this way it makes it difficult for the player too. He will be the future and is the present of Juventus.
“If, for one or two games, the coach decides to bench him there is a reason. I accept criticism, but only if I am attacked for something true.
“He needs to develop and must be treated like a normal player. He could start tomorrow’s game.”
Allegri revealed that he is likely to rest certain members of his squad for the visit of Atalanta on Sunday as part of a regular rotation system.
“For the first time this week we trained together. I’ll have to give a few players a breather,” the ex-Milan boss added.
“[Juan] Cuadrado won’t start but will be on the bench. Either [Stefano] Sturaro or [Simone] Padoin will play at right-back, but we could keep faith with the same system, with [Roberto] Pereyra in place of Cuadrado.
“We are only missing Stephan Lichtsteiner and Martin Caceres.
“I have 22 high-quality players and 50 games to come, it’s not possible that the same ones can always play.”