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The Old Lady's Summer Shopping List: Defenders

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 07:  Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus celebrates scoring a goal during the Serie A match between Torino and Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico on March 07, 2009 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by New Press/Getty Images)
Aaron WestContributor IMarch 28, 2009

When referencing the beloved Bianconeri, many supporters tend to get a bit over-ambitious, unrealistic and just plain ridiculous with their expectations.  While all of us want to see the club at the heights of a few years past, we have to understand that it takes time to re-build the squad into a championship-caliber team. 

The current brass has done a decent job bringing in some quality players (we're going to forget about the abysmal ones right now for the sake of progress *cough cough* Boumsong, Poulsen, Almirón, *cough cough*), but it's painfully obvious that the entire team needs strengthening in the summer for Juve to really challenge for honors.

For this edition, I'll begin in the back.  Truthfully, it could be stated that the entire backline needs restructuring, with the exception of Giorgio Chiellini.  Time and time again it's been proven that when Chiellini doesn't play, Juve struggles mightily in the back. 

Nicola Legrottaglie has been a great partner for Chiellini, but it may be time to upgrade to a more proven international-caliber defender as he pushes on in years, and the club pushes for trophies. 

Legrottaglie appears to have at least two good years left in him, but the depth beyond him and Chiellini is disheartening, with only Olof Mellberg and Lorenzo Ariaudo to back up the starting pair.

Philippe Mexés has been mentioned as a possible addition to the Juve fold, but given the relations between Juventus and Roma as well as his caliber and age, he may prove to be too expensive at this juncture.

Another name tossed into the mix is Villarreal's Diego Godín, who is a solid defender with bags of potential.  The Uruguayan centre-half has proven himself at both the international level and with his fourth-placed club side as they challenge for La Liga and Champions League honors.  

Were I handed the reigns of Juve today, I would inquire about the services of Napoli's young central defender Fabiano Santacroce or Udinese's Christian Zapata.  While they are both young players, they have extensive first-team experience with their respective club teams in the Serie A, and have incredible potential for the future.

While Zdenek Grygera has received much criticism for his supposed lacklustre displays, I do rate him as a decent player.  For Juve to achieve greatness however, Grygera is not the man for the job.

Lilian Thuram's heir apparent, Mamadou Sakho would fit Juve's right-back needs perfectly.  The athletic, ultra-versatile defender has made a name for himself plying his trade for Paris Saint-Germain, and is due for a move to a large club like the Bianconeri.

Unlike Grygera, the left-back spot occupied by Christian Molinaro is a glaring problem area that should be addressed immediately.  Paolo De Ceglie is the ideal player to replace Molinaro, but it may take a few years for him to fully mature.

Adriano of Sevilla F.C. is the perfect solution to Juventus' left-back issue.  The quick, two-footed Brazilian has plenty of top flight experience, and his versatility would be key for the chronically injury-stricken Juve side.

It's unrealistic to think the Juventus management will bring in replacements for all three areas needed in the back this summer.  However, one or two key signings in the mold of those mentioned above will do wonders to rejuvenate the Old Lady and have her on the way back to the top again.

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