Juventus Must Improve to Challenge for Champions League
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This article was first published in the LAU Tribune.
Succeeding in emerging from disappointing recent finishes, Juventus' board must be proud of the great improvement the club has made this year.
The club has spent a considerable amount of money in the transfer market in the two previous seasons, but could not do better than seventh-place finishes. They have shown drastic improvement this season, however, with the introduction of a higher quality of players.
In addition to manager Antonio Conte’s determined approach, it was new players like Andrea Pirlo and Stephan Lichsteiner who made the difference and helped Juventus win the Serie A title.
Now that the club has won the Serie A title and has a chance to claim the domestic double, the focus must shift from the present toward the future.
The Turin-based club has a solid squad. But if the team is to stand any chance of challenging for the Champions League next year, the board must be preparing to loosen the purse strings again this summer and spend hefty amounts of funds on transfers.
With good players already at Conte’s disposal, there should be no room for half-decent additions.
To develop a unit with the potential of aiming to contend for Europe’s premier club competition, Juventus may have to add three to four new faces of premium qualities.
One obvious weakness in the Juventus squad this season was the attack. Not one of the available forwards is a proven world-class goal scorer.
What is the primary position that Juventus need to strengthen in order to challenge in Europe?
If Juventus can secure the services of a striker like Arsenal’s Robin van Persie, the club would take a grand step toward reshaping itself as a European giant.
Meanwhile, the newly-crowned Italian champions have also faced a left-back problem with Giorgio Chiellini having to fill-in for the unreliable Paolo De Ceglie and Fabio Grosso.
Chiellini thrives in the center-back position and must continue to serve at the heart of Juventus’ center defense. A left-back signing in the summer would add to the solidity of the Bianconeri’s back-four.
Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov, who seems to have lost his bid for a regular first-team start to Gael Clichy, would be a very good addition.
Having had a fantastic season, the Italian club would do well to bring in cover for Pirlo, on whom Conte’s tactics centered this season.
Roma’s David Pizarro, who was snatched by Manchester City before Juventus could take him on loan to Turin during the January transfer window, would slide in perfectly for Pirlo if the latter is ever unavailable for selection.
As the club emerges from the dark Calciopoli scandal, Juventus should continue to invest if the team is to stand any chance of competing for top honors next season in what will certainly be a busy term with crowded fixtures.
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