Heading into the January transfer window, Juventus sat pretty at the top of the Serie A, had qualified for the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and were set for a showdown with Celtic in the UEFA Champions League.
Ceterus Parabus (all other things being equal), Bianconeri everywhere would've expected the announcement of at least one major signing this winter.
Fernando Llorente is a brilliant signing for the club, but the Spanish international doesn't arrive in Turin until next year...hardly any help for the competitions Juventus currently find themselves in.
Now that the window is done and dusted Juve find themselves knocked out of the Coppa Italia. Furthermore, their lead at the top of the Serie A has been cut to just three points. By Juventus standards, 2013 has thus far been poor, but could it get even worse for Antonio Conte's side.
Critics have made no secret of Juventus' lack of firepower up front. Sure, they have firepower—Juventus' midfield can be thanked for that—but they a reliable strikeforce with a knack for getting goals as Del Piero and Trezeguet style once did.
One could argue it is this missing part that will prevent Juventus from going all the way in the Champions League this season.
Plain and simple, Juventus' transfer activity this winter, with respect to the remainder of the 2012/2013 season was dismal.
Juventus are expected to officially announce the signing of Nicolas Anelka from Shanghai Shenhua in the next few days. Reports from Goal.com suggest a deal has already been struck; earlier this week, Anelka completed a medical in Turin.
Don't get me wrong, Anelka has raw talent, he has proven this—at a number of clubs. But there is a reason he was let go by Chelsea, as the Frenchman simply cannot replicate good form week in week out.
It is no different from the issues Juventus are currently having with their current batch of strikers. Unless Anelka can take a page from the Andrea Pirlo guide to "aging gracefully for professional fooballers",he is destined to fail...and so too will the Bianconeri.
Okay, so Juventus signed Llorente on a free transfer, Anelka on a loan deal and Ecuadorian youngster Jose Francisco Cevallos on a loan deal; they haven't actually forked out that much money.
Compound this with the fact that at the start of the season not too many changes were made in Turin, and you begin to ask, do Juventus have the financial capacity to actually land a world class striker?
With AC Milan successfully bringing Mario Balotelli to the San Siro during the window, one can't help but notice the difference in quality of the signings between the Serie A rivals.
I would have certainly welcomed his arrival at the Juventus Stadium—and I am sure Antonio Conte would have more than managed Super Mario's antics.
Whilst the signing of Balotelli won't single-handedly deliver the Serie A title to Milan...Conte, Marotta and Agnelli could certainly learn a thing or two from the Rossoneri's transfer dealings.
The second half of the Serie A could very well go down to the wire.