Monday August 27 2012
Juventus’ missing piece in attack

Despite a winning Serie A start and an excellent pre-season, Dave Taylor feels that Juventus need to keep on looking for that final piece of the jigsaw. 

After winning the Italian Super Cup and the Trofeo Berlusconi, as well as their opening day win and several good pre-season results, Juventus are seemingly heading in the direction they want. Certainly President Andrea Agnelli thinks so and, after last year’s success, he wants the Old Lady to step up a level and return to Europe with a bang.

“We’re heading into an important season and we’ll have to confirm the good things we’ve done,” he declared. “Having said that, it’s a year just like any other for Juve because Juventus will always start out with the aim of winning every competition – it’s in our history and DNA. In Italy we'll be aiming for a repeat of last season and in Europe we must believe that we can dream again.”

Last season there was a sense of satisfaction with the Scudetto, but ambition burns bright inside Bianconeri hearts and the demand from high is also echoed by the players. “There was a desire to get back into the Champions League,” remarked captain Gianluigi Buffon. “And we earned that right with what we did on the pitch. It’s the right reward for a side who last season achieved something great.”

The club has already delivered a statement of intent this summer with some prolific spending, a feat unmatched by their competition. Nonetheless the margins by which success is gauged can be alarmingly slim and the contents are sometimes not what it says on the tin. Yet after an expenditure of around €50m on new players and taking up options to sign others who were on loan or in a co-ownership, there is a new vitality around Vinovo. “It’s a different environment with respect to last year,” continued Gianluigi. “There’s more positivity and belief around the place now.”

Although difficult to put aside the edicts involving Coach Antonio Conte, his touchline replacement, Massimo Carrera, will purr with the prospect of directing a team strengthened by so many inspiring new arrivals. Sebastian Giovinco, for one, is a fabulous talent with his creative vision along with the talents of Kwadwo Asamoah, who has been superb on the left so far and Mauricio Isla. Add in midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini, defender Martin Caceres and the quality soon adds up. Let’s also not forget the flowering of young midfielders Paul Pogba and Luca Marrone, who played as a makeshift centre-back against Parma and displayed no nerves whatsoever, showing his versatility is a real asset.

The components are all there with a super-strong midfield already in place inspired by Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and the awesome Arturo Vidal. Factor in international defenders like Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, plus ‘keeper Buffon, and the team is rock-solid through the centre.

Yet there has been one thing that everyone thought was lacking, something crucially essential when you are looking to retain the title and chase Champions League success, a 20-goals a season striker. Juve attempted to buy early yet despite links with several classy forwards, including Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie, nothing has materialised.

It now seems Giovinco will lead the attack alongside Mirko Vucinic. Yet despite Carrera concluding that he was happy with both strike partnerships after giving Giovinco-Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella-Alessandro Matri a half each in the Milan encounter, it sounded more bravado than fact.

The question now is will they get a decent striker with Van Persie their first choice gone? The list of possible targets is certainly long – Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente, Edin Dzeko of Manchester City and now even Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo – but are any of them good enough? And do Juve have the finances to poach those at the top of their wish-list?

Personally I would have thought that if they were prepared to pay out £18m for the 27-year-old Llorente, it might be better to find an extra €5m or €6m and buy Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin, 23, showed once again on Saturday that he can put the ball into the net.

Juve are missing that right now with Quagliarella, Giovinco, Matri and Vucinic. Quagliarella nor Mitri-Matri can be truly relied on and both missed several easy chances in pre-season. And although Juve did win the Scudetto last term, some crucial goals were scored and created from midfield – as they were against Parma.

With much tougher opposition in the Champions League, the Bianconeri need a boost in the forward line. Don’t forget, this is a team who drew 15 League games last season – and some of those came against pretty average teams. The famous top player who they have been wanting to sign for the last 24 months is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. 

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Have your say...
What Juve needs to learn from this is that they must improve their scouting network. Guys like Cavani, Higuain or whoever are nigh impossible to sign once they are established at the top level. We need to get these guys before they become household names.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:08am
I would prefer Athletic Madrid striker Radamel Falcao. He has been on the rise over the past two-three years, and performed consistently.

He would gel with Vucinic or Giovinco. And then next seaon set aside the necessary funds to target a "true" superstar.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 9:51am
Obviously we all agree. Juve should have made their mind up earlier. Jovetic was gettable at the beginning of the window, but not now. Cavani was the obvious target but Jovetic should have been the same priority, especially now ADP has gone. Giovenco is not of the same calibre. Any how, Assamoah and Isla were smart choices, Isla can be more of an attacking threat than Lich, but I wished we had also moved for Amero.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 9:14am
Juve need a striker who is big enough physically to hold up the ball, and put away chances from the crosses that the wing backs provide, but also mobile and quick enough to be a threat in behind to stretch the pitch and create more space for Pirlo/Giovinco to create. I think it would be a mistake to get a slow, immobile (Not the player) striker. Cavani fits the bill perfectly, but isn't available. What about Hulk of Porto? He seems to of gone off the radar for everyone
on the 28th August, 2012 at 9:10am
Certainly agree.juve have a top class squad now but still need a top goalscorer.I wanted van Persie think he would have done well but concerned that it all comes down to money.thanks to a few mega rich clubs it's a sellers market.don't think man city would sell dzecko without a replacement,llorente is overpriced at 30million and so is jovetic.I can see another last minute panic buy at this rate,just please god not boriello!neymar would be pricey but he could really be phenomenal.forza juve.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 9:08am
I hope Juve get Jovetic...
on the 28th August, 2012 at 8:01am
I fully agree, and yes Jo-Jo would be my choice, his is young and believe he can fits in Conte's systems.Juve only can make him be a world class. Juve have a history with players that where no body,and becomes world class.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 7:46am
The squad looks stronger than last season. You just have to look at the bench on Saturday night. Quagliarella, Matri, Pogba, De Ceglie, Giaccherini are all capable of contributing. Add to that the injured, Buffon, Chiellini, Pepe, Caseres, Isla and we look very strong. The final piece for me would be Llorente rather than Dzeko, as he is more of a team player. I'm glad we didn't get Van Persie, who clearly used Juventus' interest to engineer his move to Manchester United.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 1:45am
I do agree what dave said, but in my opinion none of them have CL experience. Juventus needs high profile striker who could make 20 goals per season and have CL experience also.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 1:42am
It seems marotta has a budget of 20 millon for a striker, and no more. It is wise to save money and look for a good deal, but in the end we could get no one, which will cost us. I am not quite sure why we signed Isla. He is a good player, but we have Lichsteiner, Pepe and Caceres. Seems the right side is overloaded, and we should have saved the money and bought a striker. I also feel the left side of pur defence is a bit lacking.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 12:25am
We do need a 20+ goalscorer but who??? Llorente even though I would love him at Juve, I'm not at all confident in his abilities. He reminds me of a taller Gilardino. Some reason I think Juve will find ways to win even if the strikers aren't firing on all cylinders.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 10:13pm
Any Juve fan can not but agree with Mr. Dave! I'd pick the player who demanded a move to Juventus 2 years ago, EDIN DZEKO. But I am just worried that Marrotta would commit suicide and go with the cheapest option, hence Boriello! It would be the end of the season before it even starts!
on the 27th August, 2012 at 8:30pm
A striker like Aguero or Torres with pace thanks. Get someone similar
on the 27th August, 2012 at 8:17pm
Very Good article!!! I personally would prefer Dzeko. If we look at him over the seasons with Wolfsburg and Man City he has always produced. On the beginning of the season last year, he was the hottest striker scoring some quality goals, until Mancini started shuffling the squad. He is not fast, but given his height he would be a monster in the air and profiting from the service of our midfielders. He also has a very good shot. As it goes for Llorente, I see him not any different then Matri.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 7:54pm
Someone like Torres with pace. He was available for 30 mill. three months ago. Not a tall slow and old striker. Or Jovetic. Give them Matri or Quagliarela plus 18 mill.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 7:39pm
I will choose Gilardino and if we can steal Pazzini from milan the better, those 2 together will get Juve a TRIPLETA like the one INTER has.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 6:57pm
While the wait for a top striker has been frustrating, Marotta and Paratici have done well in securing co-ownership deals for Immobile, Gabbiadini and Boakye.
There is a good chance that at least 1 of those guys will become worthy of the Juventus shirt in years to come.
In terms of buying a ready made champion, it would be fantastic to get the Baggio-esque Jovetic.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 6:21pm
What an obvious statement. Facepalm... After a couple of shallow and narrow minded articles Dave Taylor doesn't deserve any confidence.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:47pm
It's been a long summer for us Juve fans. At this point the debate is whether Marotta is over-his-head at this level of mercato. We've watched all our CF options slip away - even Jovetic ad Llorente seem impossible at this point. Without a finisher, we'd have to rely on luck once again in hopes of finishing in the top 2 places in the league.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:41pm
with all due respect fellas Llorente isnt all that & Cordozo?! seriously?! u might aswell re sign Amauri & bring in berbatov! Dzeko isnt much better either has no pace at all gud in air but just to static! the way we play now and the demands put on the team Higuin or Cavani would have been perfect i would settle for Jovetic over all the others mentioned as it could happen...but Juve seriously are lacking up front and without that top marquee player we will always be questionable
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:38pm
i have always loved jovetic and it would take in excess of 30 million euros to pry him away...juve need a target man upfront to bring down balls...matri is not suited to this role, hes an 18 yard box finish, who needs space...vucinic adds quality but his finishing has been subpar...quags form of late 2010 is a distant memory...bring on berbatov, llorente, dzeko, cardozo...
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:28pm
Another excellent article by Dave but I kind of disagree Jovetic or Llorente would bring 20/30 goals a season, the latter would've struggled given the history of Spanish players in Serie A, who remembers Mendieta??? Personally, RVP had one excellent season in 7, aged 28/29, a good deal for Arsenal for £24m. I would have gone for one of Aguero, Higuain or Cavani, yes these are out of reach but a few seasons ago, would have commanded much less than their current value. Forza JUVE
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:11pm
They didn't do enough to get Van Persie. His first choice was Juventus. For top-class players you pay top fees. Van Persie is a gurantee. He was wasting his time at Arse'nal. £8m? Are you serious? There aren't many options that are available. I can't see anyone out there that they could sign. Neymar perhaps!? Damiao?
on the 27th August, 2012 at 5:04pm
I think Juve are actually missing another creative player so that Pirlo and Giovinco arent responsible for everything, when you look at teams like Real, Bayern and Barca they typically have 4 or 5 on the field at any given time. Not just Juve's problem but Italian teams in general, too many battling midfielders.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:58pm
Any quality decent striker is a must!
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:53pm
The players mentioned are good, but if it were me I would sign falcao from ath Madrid. He is the same type of player as cavani but would cost less than half the amount.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:48pm
Cavani and Higuain would be on top of my list. But since both seem unavailable I would prefer Jovetic to Dzeko, Llorente or Cardozo. I think Dzeko might do well too but I'm afraid Llorente and Cardozo would flop and just be another wasted investment. Like Luca point out I think it's better go go the extra mile to secure a real top player than to waste millions on somebody that just isn't good enough to lift Juve to the next level.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:40pm
If we can get a good striker or 2 we will have a really good chance of UCL. I really think its the one area we lack in most. Juve need to stop holding on to player to long and allowing there value to diminish. Matri/Quags should not be in the squad still since the 2006 we have been trying to rebuild a team and rite now we're closer to it than ever b4 but change is needed up front. Yea we bought striker like Amuari, Iaquinta, Quags, Matri which only patched the hole for a while.
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:24pm
1. Cavani
2. big gap
3. Dzeko
4. Llorente
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:23pm
The worrying factor is that although linked to top players Juve have not attempted hard enough to sign one. If we look what positions the GM is happy to splash on over the single one needed more so than any (for the past 2 years) then its looking like an average or gap striker.If Juve were very serious they would of committed to a transfer already instead of leaving the most important purchase to the last minute. From what I can see there will be no 'top' or 'quality' transfer, just Poli+Peluso
on the 27th August, 2012 at 4:17pm

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