When Quagliarella collapsed in the opening minutes of that now infamous game against Parma, an entire fan base held their collective breathe. Sadly, news of the severity of the injury that followed confirmed our greatest fear. A man who came to Juventus hoping for a new beginning, amidst a fair amount of scepticism, proved his critics wrong before his season was unfortunately cut short. Now in his place a new forward may arrive shortly, one whose career shares a bit of that storyline, and whose potential is perhaps just as bright.
First off let’s get something straight, we will never find a replacement for Fabio Quagliarella; all this talk in the media about finding one is certainly more figurative than literal. ‘Eta beta’ is an incredibly dynamic goalscorer who needs no introduction and will hopefully wear our colours again next season. Whether it was the return to his preferred role as a second striker or the supportive and encouraging culture of our club or both, one thing is for sure, he was at his best.
Others such as Alberto Aquilani, and Felipe Melo to a certain extent, prove that when a player finds himself the right fit in terms of those aforementioned elements, critics tend to be disappointed. Here’s where Floro Flores comes in. At first glance, the majority of Bianconeri tifosi were probably disappointed when faced with the prospect of Antonio becoming our newest signing having no previous knowledge about the player, and perhaps rightfully so.
His goal statistics aren’t up to par for most, hence his rather economical valuation, but what Antonio does bring to the table is a generous amount of potential even at 27 years old. Of the dozen or so times that I’ve watched him play, you really get the sense that he’s been underestimated given the well-roundedness of his game. Left foot, right foot, headers, long-range shots, he does it all with ease just not as frequently as most would like. But with a better club, that might change.
"Up until now he has shown 40 per cent of his potential. Juventus is a big chance and he arrives at the right moment. Antonio is powerful, quick and sturdy. He is the prototypical modern striker. I would actually like to coach him again in the future because he is the ideal centre-forward for my 4-4-2," Juventus legend Antonio Conte said.
Now while the timing of this type of transfer could have been better, given our dire need for a reputable goalscorer, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that our January transfer budget isn’t of the size necessary to purchase a certifiable bomber. "Luis Fabiano? I prefer not to speak. We know what to do, but we cannot make big investments," Marotta said.
What Beppe’s trying to say is that he’s looking for talent at a discount. In that respect it makes sense to go after marginalized players in hopes they can blossom here in Turin, and certainly the €1 million fee for the rest of the season is not a big investment. If Floro Flores comes to Juventus, chances are he’ll find his best form and perhaps even more. "They said I was not a Juve coach when I first came here. If Floro Flores comes then I hope he shows the opposite," said Coach Del Neri.
Given his ability to play as a winger, second striker, or prima punta, it’s no surprise that we aren’t the only team paying attention to this versatile player. Apparently Fiorentina and West Ham have shown some interest, including Genoa who has recently appeared as Juventus’ main rivals in signing the Neapolitan striker. If Genoa can get rid of Luca Toni and then sign a player like Antonio Floro Flores in his place, Marotta will have been taught a very shrude business lesson. To more and more, Beppe will be seen as less of a visionary and more of a Serie A historian.
"At this moment the player is talking to Juve and Genoa, but I don’t know what the developments will be," his agent Paolo Palermo told Pianetagenoa1893 earlier this evening. "The decision between the two clubs is entirely down to him. At the moment I couldn’t really say what he’ll choose. He would have the chance to play straight away at Juventus as well, but he has always liked Genoa. Yesterday he was in the stands against Sampdoria and said the atmosphere of the stadium reminded him of the San Paolo in Naples. There are things to evaluate, but I think we will certainly know something between today and tomorrow."
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!