Friday January 11 2013
The doubts about signing Drogba

Should Juventus really make the financial sacrifices to sign Didier Drogba? Here Antonio Labbate writes why the Old Lady need to forget about the pricey Ivorian.

Juventus lack a natural scorer. We all know that. Didier Drogba is a deadlier finisher in front of goal than Mirko Vucinic, Sebastian Giovinco, Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri or Nicklas Bendtner. We all know that too. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that this Old Lady need to sign the Shanghai Shenhua centre-forward in January.

The transfer stories linking Drogba with the Turin giants are understandable considering his pedigree, experience and availability to play in the Champions League. The doubts over the speculated move – which will probably stop it from happening – revolve around the finances of any proposed deal.

Drogba, to put it simply, won’t come cheap. His multi-million pound agreement with his present Chinese outfit underlines that. His club may even demand a fee. And it is with that backdrop, in these difficult economic times, that Juventus would be foolish to invest so heavily in a player – who will be 35 in March – on the basis of helping them to primarily win one competition, that trophy being the European Cup.

Juventus don’t need Drogba for the Scudetto, they are already five points clear at the top of the table with the second best attacking record and best defensive record in the Division. Let’s not even mention the Coppa Italia. It’s in Europe we’re being told that the Bianconeri, a cohesive unit who regularly ripple the net with a variety of players, are lacking a Drogba-type goalscorer.

The eye tells us that, but the statistics don’t. Of the 15 other teams who qualified for the first knock-out stage of the Champions League, only Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich scored more in their six games than La Signora. PSG were the only side with a better goal difference than Juve, one which the latter recorded in a section that contained Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea.

The draw for the last 16 of the competition has also been kind to the Italian club. Although you have to respect a side like Celtic, this Drogba-less Juve will be clear favourites to go through. That’s a good job really as the Ivory Coast international wouldn’t be available for the first leg on February 12 if his country reach the semi-finals of this year’s African Cup of Nations.

You also have to consider that this Juventus unit has time on its side. This present era which began with the appointment of Coach Antonio Conte will not end when this season’s Champions League campaign does. There are still notable margins of improvement to make, ones that don’t need to be jeopardised with lavish spending on a player who would need replacing himself in six or 18 months’ time.

The kind of money being mentioned that would be needed to secure Drogba would make the former Chelsea man the highest or second highest earner at the club – above Gigi Buffon’s6m or in between that and Andrea Pirlo’s €3.5m. Those figures are after tax. Would those sort of wages not be better spent on a top player with a future from the summer of 2013 onwards?

If, as it says inside the collar of the Juventus shirts, winning was all that mattered then the Turin giants should give Drogba all the money he wants in order to complete a move. But such a sentiment is too simplistic in a game which now has to be played simultaneously with a balance sheet. Hence the decision whether Juve will sign Drogba will ultimately be made by a man with a calculator and not by a Coach with a whistle.

To read the counter piece to this blog, on why Juve should acquire Drogba, please click here.

Have your say...
on the 30th January, 2013 at 11:51am
AM JUVE DIE Hard but don't tink Conte is helpin us much don't get me wrong he helped us get our groove back but I tink he is losing da plot reminds me of Moronio.
on the 30th January, 2013 at 11:47am
I was firm believer that if Matri was given consecutive starts he would become the goal scorer Juve need but not anymore. True we have the second best attack in the league but the ratio of goals scored vs chances created is horrific. That kind of wastefulness will hurt them in the CL so yeah I think Drogba is needed. It has been 17 years since Juve won the CL and I have the feeling that with a deadly striker this could be our year.
on the 12th January, 2013 at 2:11pm
Save the money for cavani ... Or cr7 on top player u will get amaizing result
on the 12th January, 2013 at 1:27pm
Try to get Llorente this window and if Liverpool don't get 4th, throw money and half player rights at getting Suarez. He is perfect for the way this Juve play. If not, Sanchez or Jovetic. Shame we didn't pick up Armero.
on the 12th January, 2013 at 11:21am
I'm a big fan of Drogba, he has the ability to give Juve that extra edge, but winning the C/L is not worth the financial risk that would come with it, and is by no means guaranteed either. Drogba is almost 35 and is past his best, he is now on that steady decline that every player comes to as age creeps up.
Juve would be better pursuing a different striker, not the expensive Cavani's or Falcao's but maybe the next level down, Tevez = Guaranteed Goals.

P.S: Keep Quagliarella!!
on the 12th January, 2013 at 10:11am
Drogba does not have quality to be juve player. He is only world class in the air. Not an intelligent runner/ off the ball movement, poor ball control and decision making. Who we need in short term is klose!!! Get him on loan and send matri there+ CASH. Save cash and get jojo in summer as he is versalite. We need a striker with clever movement like inzaghi or trezegol.
on the 12th January, 2013 at 8:00am
I'd take him on loan in a heartbeat.

Juve have a real chance in Europe this season with the problems at Madrid, a couple of question marks about Barca and the continued weakening of the English teams.

Drogba is a big-game player. Take him on loan, if possible, then get Llorente on a Bosman and if possible Jovetic or Lewandowski(only 1 year left on his contract) in the summer.
on the 12th January, 2013 at 12:39am
Italian clubs have been doing too often, hoping for one last hurrah. He's coming to the end of his career, why would Juve unsettle a squad that is smashing Serie A this season? He might win them the CL, just as likely is that his over-sized ego (in a country where such characters tend not to go down well like they do in England) will badly unsettle the side. Take the money and invest it by snapping up one of the many promising youngsters in Serie A and Serie B and build for a future campaign.
on the 12th January, 2013 at 12:04am
Amen to that. If Juve were guaranteed to win the Champions League with Drogba, it might make financial sense, but as you can imagine, that is far from a foregone conclusion. Juve should forget about a player in the twilight of his career, however good he may have been, and invest in young up and comers that can be molded by Conte and the rest of the team to fit their needs exactly.

I hope that's what they'll do instead of this nonsense with Drogba. Juve has been burned too many times already.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 11:54pm
If we progress farther in the champions league as a result of signing Drogba, then the prize money will offset most or even all of his salary. I would do it if he accepted a deal until June 2013 with Juve having the option to extend. Then they'd only have to pay half a seasons worth of his salary. That's at most 3.5 million. WELL worth what he would offer. Then Juve don't need to extend until 2014 if they don't want to. Which they probably wouldnt if they signed a long term solution this summer.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 11:06pm
I totally agree with you..This is the best timings to sign the ivorian super star as the like's of our Top midfielder Andrea Pirlo is coming towrads the end of his carrier..This is the best chance for Juve to win the champ's league...
on the 11th January, 2013 at 9:48pm
2nd Response,

In other words, signing Drogba is a no brainer.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 7:46pm
So what you're saying is that renting Didier Drogba for $5-6million, for one season, or going for 2 at the same salary rate, is not worth it if the boy helps Juve win a CL, which would bring in double that cost?

Somehow, that's laughable given the amounts of money Juve have wasted on ridiculous signings over the years. Yes they've done well this and last, but there have been a few gaffe's. Drogba certainly won't be a gaffe and would immediately make Juve a serious contender, if not already.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 7:45pm
With the captain being out for 3 months, I believe they should spend on defense. His presences was missed with the Sampdoria fiasco, and it will be magnified in the CL.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:42pm
I would rather spend the cash to release Llorente earlier.I don`t believe we are ready just now to win the CL,howeverto get to the semi shows progress.We play as a unit and that unity could be jeopordised by this potential signing.Vucinic expressed this week that there are no "prima donna`"in the team and personally I`m glad to see we have not been linked with Balotelli who would sour the mentallity in the locker room
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:40pm
There's only one striker that is practically custom-madefor Juve... and that's Cavani. I'm afraid any other strikers, top player or not, just won't score enough goals to satisfy the fans or himself, due to Juve's system and style of play. Cavani is made for Juve, but we'll never get him for numerous reasons. Too bad, as Cavani could have been a tremendous Juve legend.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:26pm
We need drogba badly, forget & overlook the age. I dont have faith in all our current forwards, just look at Gio in the milan game & mirko against sampdoria. celtic are no pushovers they can give a shock. celtic 2-1 barcelona, pls dont underrate them
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:21pm
@ JuveFanatico - what makes them think they can or will in summer? look at the clubs recent turn over, they are much better off now then 2 seasons again Champs leage and gate receipts and sound sponsor ship deals will add up wich can fund a TOP marquee signing no matter who it is but juve go for value u too but im afraid with top players comes a price which u will have to pay and we will just watch...Drogba! 35! come on lads hes not what he was
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:02pm
Along with Drogba's name, you can add Llorente, David Villa & Torres because the last thing Juve need is an over hyped & over paid player.

What Juventus do need is a player who plays for the team & not for himself like the above mentioned names & right now only 2 players fit that profile, namely Cavani & Higuain.

As for Quagliarella, he is the best finisher Juve have at the moment, selling him would be a mistake.

PS: if Juve can't land a big name striker, then bring back Alex Del Piero...
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:59pm
HERE AND NOW! That's what's important. Juventus are on the cusp of great things in europe this year. They'd be absolutly foolish to let this pass them by and not make a splash by signing Drogba. They may never get a better chance.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:45pm
Drogba is a top player and still has a couple of good years in him. Juve are short up front when it comes to europe. Last season Drogba was amazing, without him chelsea wouldnt have won the cup. He can be the difference for Juve. In the summer they need to try and get Llorente or Higuain. I would like to see Juve sign Drogba in January, Llorente or Higuain in the summer and seriously consider bringing Bocchetti back to italy.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:35pm
i can guarantee you that Juve won't bring in Higuain or Benzima, we won't even bring Drogba if im correct.
6 Mil. in wages which if im not mistaken is what Drogba is earning currently is an impossible number for any club in Italy.

This Juve is making major mistakes on the transfer market, Bendtner and Borriello being prime examples.

Don't get me wrong we need a Drogba like player but If Marotta didn't invest when he had a chance to bring in Dzeko or Aguiero what makes you think he will now.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:20pm
Enough with this Drogba crap !!

Juve only need to maintain their unity, not a 35-old-has-been.

It's really a shame that his name is being linked to Juve while they did everything in their to make Del Piero leave the club !

If now looking for a striker, why they sold Alex in the first place.

Drogba's subject just makes me SICK !!
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:12pm
I'm with Shonil on this, I think clubs talk about 'rebuilding' too much, when a club's winning and in form, that's when you go for the juggular. Otherwise your time may never come. Besides, I think Conte plays on the 'we're still building thing. We're current champions and going good in all 3 comps this year. Lippi & Capello wouldn't have complained about this form in past years. I do however believe we underestimate Quagliarella though. His average per minute is up there with the best.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:10pm
@ Shanil - i see ur point but this Juve project is not a rushed one and never has been, progression to the knock out stages was progress anything more is a bonus on paper we SHOULD beat celtic but in reality its no certainty, to waste a lavish amount of money on player whos 35! as a stop gap is questionable We shall see what happens still feel we should push for marquee signings in summer HIGUIN is realistic! IMO maybe even Benzema looking at the current state of Madrid
on the 11th January, 2013 at 2:01pm
I do not agree. The time for this team to win the European cup is now. Andrea Pirlo is still in his prime but is not getting any younger. Neither is Giggi Buffon. The other parts of the team are more or less complete. Some of the rivals may be stronger next year. The time is now for Juve to have a real go at winning the champions league. Drogba can raise the level and pedigree of the team in the champions league knock-out games.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 1:42pm

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