Juventus FC: 3 Reasons Bianconeri Must Buy a Top Striker in January
Juventus's Champions League contest with FC Nordsjælland, which ended in a 1-1 draw, should be the final straw for both the bianconeri and their fans.
In the draw, Juventus players attempted 30 shots, 15 of which were on target, and came away with only one goal (h/t to UEFA.com).
Alright, credit where credit is due, Jesper Hansen and the rest of the Nordsjælland defense came up big with huge heart and effort, but a team like Juve should be able to crack off more than one goal in that situation.
They have tied in each of their three Champions League matches so far. If Juventus are serious about being a top team in Europe, they must do better.
They have tried many different combinations up front, but the answer to the bianconeri's attacking woes may come in the form of a top winter signing.
They have been linked with several of these top players over the last couple months, including Robert Lewandowski and Fernando Llorente, and bringing a top striker to Turin should immediately pay dividends for la Vecchia Signora.
Will one of those players come in and start scoring goals at will? Probably not, but, like I said, the immediate impact is just as important. Signing a top striker is the top priority for Juventus right now.
1. Juventus Forwards Cannot Score with Consistency
What some see as a positive for Juventus, I see as, to an extent, a negative.
One the one hand, it's great for them that they have devised a system that involves everyone in the team's attack. It's not just the forwards appearing on the score sheet, but midfielders and defenders too.
Defenders and midfielders score all the time, but how many teams can boast the same type of attacking balance that Juve can? I don't think many can.
And that is part of what makes Juventus a top team.
On the other hand, though, will it last? To draw a parallel analogy from another sport, it's nice when the bottom of your lineup can contribute some offense in baseball, but you know that there's a good chance they can't keep it up for a full season.
Like I said, it's no surprise that defenders and midfielders score. However, when they don't, you still have your forwards to count on for goals. For all the talent featured up front for the bianconeri, they seem to have trouble finding the back of the net with any consistency.
Last year, the only Juventus forward to make the Top 20 in scoring was Alessandro Matri with 10 goals. That doesn't bode well for being able to count on your forwards. Just ask any Juve fan what they think of Matri's, or any of the other forwards', lack of consistency.
I doubt you get a positive response.
2. The Team Will Benefit from the Stability a Top Forward Brings
Maybe I am putting to much stock in how much Juve's balanced scoring is affecting the team as a whole, but call me a skeptic on the idea.
There's a reason why players get divided into position, and you rarely find players who can play every position well, right?
Regardless of who is scoring goals, the attack should flow through the midfield to the forwards with the end result being a goal.
For a team like Barcelona, having everybody join up in the attack works well. Maybe Juventus is evolving their team tactics as such, but I see that working somewhat in the Italian league and not so much everywhere else.
Adding the right striker changes all that.
For starters, it puts less pressure on the rest of the team to produce that type of offensive output. It also would allow Juve to play players in the right positions.
Guys like Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic should not be called upon to lead teams in scoring because they aren't the target men. Both of those guys, and Fabio Quagliarella, who fits this role somewhat too, should be slotted in a supporting attack role.
With a top striker, they would be able to play in their natural positions. Not to mention it would take some pressure off Andrea Pirlo who, despite Juve fans not wanting to believe it, is showing some signs of the fatigue of his role.
3. If They Want to Continue Winning, They Will Need the Extra Firepower
To play a bit off of Andrea Pirlo's fatigue, Juventus need to bring in a striker for the future success of the team.
Much like we saw Juve become too dependent on Alessandro Del Piero, they are moving into similar territory with Pirlo. He will not be around forever, and the plan needs to be put in place to conserve his best days for when they are needed.
On top of the strain of the domestic league, and also domestic cups, Juventus are also back in the Champions League this season. Champions League provides a test that domestic leagues don't give.
To consistently face the best teams in Europe, you need to bring the best possible effort to win. When you're playing league and cup games on top of it, it becomes a very difficult task.
The bianconeri know this all too well, and their Champions League record, so far, does little to indicate Juventus can last. Draws are alright in the beginning, they might even get you through to knockouts, but they won't win you titles.
If Juventus are to compete in the Champions League and the Serie A this season and in the future they must strengthen the team.
Bringing in a star striker in January will provide them with additional firepower as they gear up to challenge for multiple titles. Adding a strong a goalscorer to an already potent offense will give Juventus the stability and consistency it needs to succeed long-term.