It is crunch time. Three days until the mercato closes, and Juventus are still looking for their striker. By the looks our last official matches, the Supercoppa and the Parma games, the team is looking strong, albeit still lacking physical form. The other thing that Juve are lacking is a natural goal scorer. It comes as no surprise that a wingback and a central midfielder scored the goals for Juve, while Genoa, Fiorentina, Inter and Napoli had strikers getting in their respective score sheets.
So what can we expect in the forward department?
Last Saturday, Marotta made it clear that he would like to add one more striker. He also made it clear that it is hard to find a striker at a price that Juventus can afford. However, if you believe the rumors, it seems like our DS has it narrowed down to four
So who are these players? (No surprises here). And most importantly, what can they bring to Juve? Find out after the break.
Most teams that play with two forwards in three competitions have 5 strikers, in fact, most English clubs that play with a 4-4-2, have 5 strikers and a youngster in their official roster. At the moment, Juventus has Vucinic, Matri, Quagliarella, and Giovinco and of course a number of primavera players. So, math dictates that Juve are going to bring one more player without selling any of the forwards.
Why you ask?
Take next week's Udinese game. Juve are probably going to play with Vucinic and Matri in attack. If that doesn't work, we only have Quagliarella to get us out of trouble. So, a new striker is a must, even if it is Borriello (that line was harder to write than I thought).
Stevan Jovetic. I think my love for the Montenegrin has been well documented in the comments section of this blog and on the Offside. Out of the players that we have been linked with, he is the most promising. He is only 22 and already has an impressive career. The world started to take notice of his talent a couple of years ago when he, single-handedly, almost took Bayern Munich out of the Champions League. Afterwards came his season long injury which turned-off many suitors. However, last season's performance showed that the kid still has it and is ready for the big stage.
The Price: It is rumored that Fiorentina will only let Jovetic go if Marotta shows up with 30m cash at their doorstep. It was rumored that Marotta already tried the 30m angle with no luck yet. The catch is that if Jovetic is transferred, it would leave Fiorentina with the same mathematical problem as Juve, that is, they would be one player short with the market rapidly closing. So, it is not unreasonable that Quagliarella could be included in the deal (i.e. 25m+Quagliarella). Juve could then make a deal for a low-cost option such as a Borriello loan to make-up the numbers on our side.
The Pros: Jovetic is a young, up-and-coming player, with the ability to become one of the world's best. Although he has mostly been deployed as a seconda punta, he can play as a striker as well. Just like Giovinco, Jovetic does not give reference points to the opposition defense. Lastly, not only is he familiar with Serie A, but he has also played with Vucinic. This should make his acclimatization to Juventus that much faster, something that can't be underestimated at this time in the transfer market.
The Cons: I see two things against him. The first one is obviously his price-tag. If Juventus indeed come up with anything close to €30m (or over), it would be the largest investment in the Agnelli era. The second issue is his position in the Conte system. Considering Vucinic has a guaranteed spot, if Jovetic proves to be worth his price tag, Giovinco would become the substitute he has always been at Juve.