Five Strikers Juventus Could Bring to Turin This January
Before the 2012/13 Serie A season began, there was a strong belief that Juventus were lacking one key element that could take their side from being a mere powerhouse of Italian football, to being a powerful force in European football once more.
The lack of a truly imposing center forward was expected to be rectified during the August transfer window, but the summer's spending season proved to be less then fruitful, as their apparent priority target Robin van Persie rejected northern Italy for the north of England.
After a stumble against their Serie A title rivals Inter Milan, a 0-0 draw this weekend at away at Lazio and a less then convincing Champions League campaign so far, Juventus need a fresh injection of life into their starting lineup, and more importantly, a forward who they can rely on to score when no one else seemingly can.
Here are five signing to revamp the Old Lady of Italian football's forward line.
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Having scored 14 of the 37 goals Fiorentina bagged in Serie A last season, many thought that Stevan Jovetic would be off and away to a club in either the Europa League or the Champions League last August.
His performances during an especially difficult season shone out as a beacon of hope for the loyal Viola fans, who were desperate to hold onto their star man for this coming season.
Credible offers for the Montenegrin striker failed to arise, and to the fans delight, Jovetic has started this campaign where he left last season, hungry for goals.
Fiorentina's march to the top—or at least fourth spot—of Serie A has not gone unnoticed though, and Jovetic's performance—plus his six goals in the season's first 11 games—has attracted the praise of Italy's pundits and more than likely the attention of Europe's elite clubs. Without a European cup tie hanging over his head, Jovetic would be ready to hit the ground running for Juve immediately in 2013.
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Some may love him, some may loath him, but however you see the bold, brash Italian, there's no doubt that he can, on his day, be brilliant.
According to Balotelli's good friend Patrice Evra, the Manchester City striker wants to move back to Italy and while he's not reached the dazzling heights expected of him in the Premier League, and his temperament and off-field antics have attracted more attention than the majority of his play on the pitch, but while wearing an Italian national team shirt, Balotelli is prone to moments of brilliance.
If Balotelli does miss his homeland, as Evra suggests, then Juve would be an ideal platform for his return to Serie A. With a team around him that can easily carve out chances, Balotelli would just need to control his finishing touch and his temper, in Turin.
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Forgotten but not gone, Athletic Bilbao's towering centre forward was tipped for a big move this summer after a fantastic 2011/12 in both Europe and La Liga.
His 17 goals in 24 top-flight starts for the team from the Basque country raised the eyebrows of some, but followers of the 27-year-old were only too aware of his goal scoring prowess after he'd bagged 32 goals over the previous two league campaigns.
His side's strong showing in the Europa League last season, including a convincing demolition of Manchester United over two legs, launched the Spaniard into the homes of football fans across the globe and it appeared, like Jovetic, a move away from Bilbao was destined last August.
But the offers never appeared to come and Llorente has been left to rot on the substitute's bench for the majority of this season, after making his desire to leave his current club perfectly clear.
A goal scorer, a target man and a skillful link man, Llorente could come at a reduced price this January as Athletic look to cash in while they can on their star striker.
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Big, bold and a bloody good finisher, Stefan Kießling may be one of the most overlooked strikers in Europe.
The Bayer Leverkusen forward has established himself in the Bundesliga as a formidable foe for any side to face and has started this season with a fantastic eight goals from 12 starts.
His form in 2012/13 is not a surprise after the German attacker grabbed 16 goals last season and another 28 in total from the previous two season's before that.
Kießling would, like Llorente, provide a major target man for Juventus' attack and is a proven goal scorer in one of Europe's toughest leagues.
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Dropped for their vital match against the Old Lady last night, Torres has once again failed to hit desired heights at Chelsea in the first third of the 2012/13 season. So much was expected of Torres for this current season, especially after the departure of Didier Drogba— a move that was meant to relieve the pressure on Torres and thus improve his appearances and goal tally on the pitch.
But the Spaniard has struggled to find goals or support this campaign and has just four league goals to his name, taking his miserable tally at Chelsea to 11 goals in 68 league appearances.
We have still seen bright moments in Torres's play in the last seven months, so perhaps a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs to find his Midas touch once again. Abramovich is already looking to launch a £48 million bid for Athletico Madrid's Falcao, meaning the Euro 2012 golden boot winner could be available for a reasonable price, if anyone will take the risk.