Juan Jesus has been at the club for a year and a half, and it's pretty safe to say that his value - both at home and abroad - has increased exponentially. When Inter bought his rights in Jan 2012 they paid under €4 million. He spent half a year on the Primavera team getting acclimated and a further month of the next season on the reserves, but time has shown that he has a place on the field for this team.
His critics have said that he petered out of form as the season got longer and I don't disagree. His critics have said that he isn't very good, to which I don't disagree either - there were spots last season where he was pretty bad. But his bad performances don't worry me as much as they might worry others.
Juan definitely has his warts as a player. They exist, and there is no point in denying it. But suggesting that his virtues don't overshadow his sins is also as foolish. Keeping in mind that the youngster is 22, he has the physical ability right now to last a whole season - including European and domestic cup games. He has a great attitude when playing, like there is no opposing player that has any right to act better than him - and yeah that can go too far, but to me it's better too much than too little. He's athletic enough to run and he has some ability to play out of the back - both are very needed in this current formation.
He came here under very modest expectations and he's exceeded every one of them. And under Mazzarri he has a real chance to improve as a defender that he probably didn't have under Stramaccioni. That's not a dig against Strama, I just think that Mazzarri, right now, is much more organized and has definite ideas about this club and how it's going to defend.
I am one of those people who hate when players try to get a contract boost because there is never the reverse chance. Players, it seems, can only play their way to an increase. There is never the visceral thrill of a player who is so bad that the club calls them in and demands that money come back the other way. I don't think that's really fair.
But in this case, I am all for it. Juan has asked for an increase - and considering his play and the minutes he's playing, he probably deserves it. He already has a contract that ends in 2016, but I don't think that there will be any problem from the team. I read that there are some English teams sniffing around, but I am not worried. I can see the club getting a huge offer for Ranocchia and taking it. I can't see the team willing to part with Juan unless there is a monstrous offer. I just don't see anyone willing to offer one.
Anyway, I like that the negotiation is happening and I have no doubt that the stays and it'll all work out. I will also be excited to see what this young man can produce next year.