Making Sense Of A Potential Move For Nicolas Anelka

Laurence Griffiths

Where we ask Beppe Marotta one simple question: "What the hell are you thinking?"

When Fernando Llorente agreed to a summer move to Juventus a few days ago, it was pretty clear to see the logic behind the agreement. He's a very good player in his prime coming over on a free transfer because his contract is about to expire. It was Beppe Marotta again doing what he does best — going to the bargain bin and coming back with a quality player at an absolute steal of a price.

Now, we're seeing the opposite end of the spectrum.

When it comes to the reported move for former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka — which has spread like absolute wildfire in the Italian press over the course of the past 24 hours — I'm not really really having an easy time and having the same kind of vision I did with Llorente. Not because it's only a stop-gap move, with Anelka all but likely to sign a six-month contract with the Italian champions if he does in fact arrive during the January transfer window. The reason is entirely simple: What the heck is his role going to be with the club if he does sign soon?

My answer at the current moment: I have no freaking clue.

If Juventus envision Anelka as somebody who can come in and score goals, I'm not so sure I can believe that. Maybe if they signed him five or season years ago, but not now as he is creeping closer and closer to his 34th birthday. He isn't the same player that exploded for 30 goals in all competitions in the 2008-09 season. That's pretty much certain since he barely had that total in his last three years with Chelsea.

If Juventus are looking at him as being a replacement for the ghost of Nicklas Bendtner and solely being a reserve player who rarely sees the field, then that's a different deal all together — maybe. It's temporary fix to a spot on the team that doesn't necessarily needs any kind of immediate fixing. I mean, it'd be nice to have a fifth striker on the squad seeing as Juve are still competing on all three fronts and are battling injuries are over the place, but how much did Bendtner actually play? None. And if Anelka is the choice to be the replacement for Bendtner, is it much of an improvement at all?

Anelka is just a player that Juventus don't need. There's no upside to the move. It's almost like "Here's Anelka, let's see if he has anything left in the tank." But seeing as he has basically been ruled out of consideration by lower-tier EPL teams, what does that say about Anelka's potential impact?

It's not good — and neither is my thought process when it comes to why the heck Juventus are even targetting Nicolas Anelka.

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