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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...
i think juve must buy a young striker.... jovetic is good but it is expensive... van persie, berbatov are old now ....we can spent huge sum of money to buy such players and also with their hight wages..juve must buy Rictie lambert of southampton .... he is young just 23 yrs, will be cheap, n his salary will be low... he has won the best striker at division 3,div 2, div 1, championship, hav already score 2 goals for southampton... n also score man utd.... i think he will be a good signing
on the 10th September, 2012 at 7:42am
juve tried to add a top striker but it didnt work out not their fault, i like our strike force the way it is but if they still see the need to buy a top striker i think falcao from athletico madrid would fit perfectly! Forza juventus!!
on the 5th September, 2012 at 12:19am
Berbatov is too slow and does not work hard enough to play for Conte's Juventus. Llorente is not worth 36 million, Dzeko is overrated and not a team player, Jovetic would have been a great signing, but Fiorentina were never going to sell to Juventus. Bendtner is only on loan...he hasn't cost 25 million! We do have four other strikers, midfielder's and defenders who will contribute goals. We won the Scudetto without a star striker and I see no reason why we can't do so again.
on the 1st September, 2012 at 6:38pm
I wonder why Juve didn't sign Leandro Damiao? He's still young, and he already showed what he can do in the Olympic games.
on the 1st September, 2012 at 5:33pm
Personally I feel it wldv been better to sign roque santa cruz instead of bendtner since we cldnt get llorente(juve shld brk d bank for him).its a total waste of money, guess we hav to keep our fingers and toes crossed
on the 1st September, 2012 at 7:17am
Oh noooooooooooo Bendtner please what are we doing....talk about panic buy. I do hope he wears his hat gloves and scarf on the bench to keep himself warm. We have better strikers sweeping up in the stadium after the match....he is shockingly bad....what a complete waste of money as I have him scoring no more than 3 goals in all competitions before Christmas
on the 31st August, 2012 at 9:04pm
Bentner can bang in some goals, as seen at EURO2012, however like many above he lacks quality.
I want Javier Hernandez - who is quality and a proven goal poacher
on the 31st August, 2012 at 1:47am
Abusing Marrota for not bringing in a big name striker is unfair. Juventus bid 21 million for Llorente and 30 million for Jovotic, but if the clubs won't sell, there is not much more that can be done. Also remember that Moratta brought Pirlo, Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Barzagli, Storari, Giaccherini and Pogba to Turin for a combined price of less than 30 million. Bendtner is not a player I would have picked, but if he joins I will support him like I support every player who wears black and white.
on the 31st August, 2012 at 12:42am
I am Danish, and I never want Bendtner to wear my beloved Juve jersey! He sucks big time!!!
on the 30th August, 2012 at 2:39pm
@ Juve forever. Have to agree with you there my friend, just look at the MARTINEZ joke of a signging, selling Diego for 15mill and signing Martinez for 12?! its a joke and we have wasted so much money on average players..

@ annonwhateva...come on pal! Serie A cant be that finished these below av teams gave the EPL teams one hell of a thumpin last season! Sure Serie A is going throug transition it was its time and EVERY leafgue has their time, dont forget Serie A teams r still wining he CL!
on the 30th August, 2012 at 1:23pm
Forget Llorente, he never score many goals after some years in bilbao. Dzeko is more reliable since with his limited chance at city, he still scored "a lot" goals, including the equalizer during last trophy-decided game. I agree if Juve has a real money, throw it for Jovetic, younger and fully adapted to serie-a game. So, that's the choice, not Berba, Liorente, and please forget about floccari...
on the 30th August, 2012 at 11:34am
Still think they are weak at the back - Barzagli and Bonucci are plodders who will get exposed in Champions League. Chiellini, although solid will give away too many free-kicks which will hurt the team. Serie A is finished the standard is a joke, with players who cant even pass the ball. Udinese were embarrassment,players with no touch. Milan will do well to qualify if they get a tough group. Juve will just about get out of their group but will be out in the round of 32.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:43am
@ Manni
Juve have money. They do however have an average at best Sporting Director in Marotta. He promised a 'champion' striker and has failed to deliver...... AGAIN! Bendtner? Boriello? NO! These are not Juve caliber players. The circus with Viola/Berbatov speaks of a desperate man. He should keep his mouth shut, not promise and quietly deliver. Other acquisitions have been good, but how much was Conte over Marotta? We don't know. However if we cant score on the pitch then its all for nothing.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:36am
Please no Bendtner! seriously bad business and im reading they want Borriello! LOL! Marota again has shown he cant deliver Marquee quality to Juve in the past when we wanted a player we went and got them! simple its not like we have no money the CL money and stadium money and sales of some players can add up and give us atleast 30million! why not try Loic Remy? from Marseille...Pace, power and a target man. not prolific mind you. But is bendtner? Boriello?
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:14am
Cavani would have been perfect.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 5:11am
Bendtner, a Sunderland reject, to the Italian champions.

Has Serie A fallen this low?
on the 29th August, 2012 at 10:06pm
looks like Berbatov is on his way to juve
on the 29th August, 2012 at 3:09pm
It seems unlikely that Juve will bring in a second tier "big name" cf, but in today's news there is a rumor about Drogba.... If Moratta has only 20 mil to sign a striker why not bring Drogba in? and a cheap poacher... how old is Trezegol??? with those two Juve can quite possibly make to the quarters of the CL and with Conte coming back next year maybe they can get that "BIG NAME CF"
on the 28th August, 2012 at 8:32pm
With Athletic demanding Llorente's buy-out clause and Fiorentina refusing to sell Jovetic to Juventus, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a top quality striker. The only two players worth breaking the bank for are Cavani or Falcao, but they seem out of reach at the moment. Drogba would be a great alternative as he still has the presence and statue to terrorise Serie A defences and those throughout Europe. Then maybe give Boakye a chance and keep the money for a later transfer window.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 6:46pm
I would like Fernando Llorente and after missing out on Van Persie, Juve should just pay the fee asked and get him in the side A.S.A.P !!

Juve, as much as many would like, will not bring back Alex Del Piero (certainly not as a player), but and no one has mentioned this proven goalscorer, they could turn to Udine again & make an offer for Di Natali - (though may depend how Udinese's E.C.L campaign goes & if/ how long he's cup tied). Or, Guiseppe Rossi - ?
on the 28th August, 2012 at 3:32pm
As a Juve Fan I will like Jovectic, but trust me ADP for me is the best option as he can make the game and score the goals as he use to, so pls. bring ADP back to play with Giovinco and sign new striker next season.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 3:27pm
I think Berbatov would be an awesome buy!
on the 28th August, 2012 at 1:15pm
FOR ME THE PERFECT CHOICE WAS HIGUAIN BUT IT SEEMS HE HAS GOT WHAT WS HE DEMANDING FOR ...FIRST TEAM PLAY
HAVE ANYBODY SEEN BRAZIL IN OLYMPIC?IF YES,TEH N U MUST HAVE NOTICED A STRIKER"leandro damiao"he is 22 has a tremendous goalscorring insctint and could do fabolous with our mvp and also he is avalaible just in 22milion euros
on the 28th August, 2012 at 1:13pm
Llorente is the answer at this moment. He has more foot skills than Dzeko and is better in the air as well. He also makes less wages than Dzeko. What is this ADP talk? I love him as much as anyone but he was already finished the last 2 years. Especially last year where his inclusion in the starting line-up cost Juve the Coppa Italia final. He didn't touch the ball that game and Vucinic should have started. All in all, Llorente is the answer for me. Cavani would be better but too expensive.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 12:44pm
at first i was excited rvp on top list of juve target. he's gone. then i now want juve to get cavani, but it's too impossible. cavani no. today i read della valle reject 30 million euro for jovetic. bye jojo. let's say we have 3 choices: llorente, dzeko, cardozo. personally i will put dzeko as first priority, then llorente, cardozo is even not a priority for me. i think berbatov is useless in united, maybe marotta can try to approach him, to put another choice.. ah i just a fan
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:36am
Dzeko for me,however Guieppe Rossi had he been fit and had he completed a full pre-seson would have been the answer.Benzema seems to have fallen behind the pecking order to Higuain,if you don't ask you don't get!!!
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:23am
Bring Balotelli back to Italy. He would be cheaper than Cavani and is far superior to Jovetic, Dzeko, Llorente etc. Giovinco playing number 10 behind Balotelli are the future for Italy, why not form the partnership for Juve too.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:22am
Juve had that type of a player, but let go of him.

Del Piero !
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:17am
I agree with Marotta in not signing a Top Player for the simple reason that the only real Top Player Juve need is the impossible-to-get Cavani. Others with pace like Aguero and Toress might work as well. However, if Juve can't bring in class acts it's better to stick with what they have than waste money on RVP, Llorente, Dzeko and Cardozo. Also the way Conte plays is designed for the mids to run into channels and score goals. Seba and Vucnic can draw defs for the mids to take advantage of.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:12am
If Juve can't bring in a world class attacker then there is no point in bringing in rubbish like Boriello etc instead. Save the money and bring ADP back.
on the 28th August, 2012 at 11:12am

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