Rumours are swirling around Juventus that they are again in the market for another striker. The arrival of Sebastian Giovinco from Parma this summer for €11 million means that they now have another attacking option. However, as we have seen with past large money moves for successful Italian strikers (Amauri – €22.8 million in 2008) do not always guarantee success at Juventus.
The need for a proven striker is all the more urgent as Juventus will need a larger squad this upcoming season as they compete in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in three years. They have already strengthened the midfield with the double swoop of Udinese midfielders Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla. There will definitely be a fight for midfield spots but there might also be more midfielders on the pitch if manager Antonio Conte continues his experiments in using 3-5-2.
Even though Juventus went undefeated in the league last year to capture their 28th scudetto they showed a lack of touch in front of goal. There were 24 different goal scorers in all competitions. Of these players only two hit double digits (Alessandro Matri and Claudio Marchisio with 10) while Mirko Vucinic finished with nine goals. Matri came to the team during the 2011 January transfer window for €15.5M and Vucinic arrived in August for €15 million. Last summer Fabio Quagliarella signed on to Juventus for €10.5 million after a successful loan spell from Napoli. Last season he scored four goals on 20 appearances for Conte’s team.
As one can see the Juve brass has shelled out a lot money for attacking players in the past few years but past success has not been assured when those new arrivals come to Juventus. Perhaps this scene was envisioned by Antonio Di Natale when he rebuffed the advances of Juventus last year and chose to stay with Udinese.
A look at the stats also shows us that the dearth of a potent striker has been plaguing the team for a while. The last time a Juventus striker was Capocannoniere was in 2007-08 when Alessandro Del Piero led the league with 21 goals. This was the first season back in Serie A after the Calciopoli scandal. That year Juventus came in third in the league.
You need to go back to the 2001-02 season when Juventus won both the league and had a top scorer (David Trezeguet and Dario Hubner of Piacenza tied with 24 goals each). A further 18 years prior is when Juventus last won the league and had the sole goals leader when Michel Platini won with 20 goals in 1983-84. Juventus also captured the UEFA Cup Winners Cup that year as well.
Juventus has won championships without a 20-goal striker on the team before. However, after winning 23 games and drawing 15 last season the four point cushion to win the title was a lot closer that it should have been as they won eight games by a margin of one goal. A world-class striker might have turned a few more of the draws into wins.
What does everyone else think?