3 Transfer Deadline Day Possibilities for Juventus
It has undoubtedly been a summer of upheaval at Juventus, with the Italian champions rocked by the departure of Antonio Conte just as they returned to pre-season training. The Bianconeri have striven to overcome the loss of their talismanic coach, hoping to continue their current dominance of Serie A.
Three consecutive league titles were won under Conte’s guidance, and now, Massimiliano Allegri faces the difficult task of maintaining his predecessors' lofty standards. The new boss has brought with him the desire to instill some subtle tactical tweaks, and the club has attempted to provide players to support that.
With the current transfer window drawing to a close, Juventus are continuing to work toward a number of players they have identified as targets. These are mostly in attack, as the Old Lady appears to already possess enough depth elsewhere to cover any eventuality or circumstance.
Over the following pages is a look at three players linked with a move to Turin, analysing the reasons they would be suitable for Allegri and how they may fit into the team.
Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)
Like the links to Falcao, via Football Italia, a Juventus move for Javier Hernandez seems unlikely, with the Manchester United striker perhaps too one-dimensional to help Allegri. The Mexican star is an excellent goalscorer, but with Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez in Turin, the Bianconeri need much more.
The 26-year-old made just six league starts last term, with the presence of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney limiting his first-team opportunities. An out-and-out striker, he could stand in for either of Juve’s first-choice front pair, but he would struggle to provide more than that for a club in desperate need of attacking impetus.
Despite his national team boss Miguel Herrera saying such a switch would be “extraordinary,” per ESPN FC, Hernandez is seemingly not versatile enough for Juventus to invest heavily in him. The links remain, but other targets appear to be far more logical.
Lukas Podolski (Arsenal)
Juve’s interest in German international Lukas Podolski has been widely reported, with the Bianconeri among a number of clubs interested in the 29-year-old, per Football Italia. The forward has found playing time difficult to come by with Arsenal, making just 14 league starts last term.
According to WhoScored.com, he still managed to net eight goals and add two assists, while his ability to play various attacking roles would be of huge benefit to Juventus. He would provide the flexibility to play a variety of formations, and he also possesses an enviable work rate.
One stumbling block appears to be Arsenal’s unwillingness to allow Podolski to leave on loan, with Dominic Fifield of The Guardian reporting that the London club are pushing for a permanent deal.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich)
Perhaps the most well-suited candidate for the current Juventus squad would be Xherdan Shaqiri, noted as the choice of Allegri by Gianluca Di Marzio. Writing on his own website, the Italian transfer expert says that Bayern Munich are also against loaning their player, again preferring to sell outright.
With a price of around €20 million, the 22-year-old is a much better long-term prospect than Hernandez or Podolski, while his technical characteristics are also more of an ideal fit for the tactical ideas of the new Bianconeri coach.
He brings more pace, a more direct attacking approach and greater versatility than the other two candidates, and he is looking for an increased role after just 10 league starts last term. Still managing to net six goals, Shaqiri added some impressive stats, according to Squawka.com.
The site shows he created 25 clear scoring chances for his team-mates, also completing 30 of the 47 take-ons he attempted. There is no denying that everything points to Shaqiri as the ideal addition to improve this Juventus squad.