Juventus Transfer Market: 14 Footballers that Would Fit in Torino
The Old Lady of Italian football is the winningest club in Italian soccer history with 27 Serie A titles, nine Coppa Italia trophies, and two European/UEFA Champions League titles, but the club has endured a bit of a title drought the past few years.
Juventus has struggled mightily since the Calciopoli scandal of 2006, which saw the Old Lady stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles, kicked out of the 2006 UEFA Champions League, fined a substantial amount of money and relegated to Serie B.
Since then, Juventus has not been the same.
The relegation resulted in Juventus losing some of the world’s best players such as Fabio Cannavaro, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Patrick Vieira, Gianluca Zambrotta, and Lilian Thuram. Though players like Buffon, Camoranesi, and Del Piero stayed with the club until Juventus’ return to Serie A in 2007, Juventus hasn’t had much success since.
After finishing third in 2007-08 and second in 2008-09, they were seventh in 2009-10, and seventh this past season. Things are so bad in Turin that Juventus failed to even qualify for the Europa League for the 2011 season.
One of the main reasons for the team underperforming is the signings they’ve made the past few seasons. Diego, Amauri, Felipe Melo, Jorge Martinez, Tiago and loans for Marco Motta and Simone Pepe are just some of the bad decisions that have resulted in a poor quality of football for the Bianconeri.
While these are good players, good players aren’t good enough for Juventus. A team of Juventus’ caliber needs superstars who will make a difference against teams like Inter and AC Milan.
With Juventus calling a brand new state-of-the-art stadium home this season, this should allow Juventus to go out and spend some money on quality players this summer. Areas that need improvement include right and left back, left midfield, and forward.
These are 14 players that would fit in well with the Bianconeri.
1. Michel Bastos
While just about every team is interested in the Brazilian, Bastos would be a welcome addition to a Juventus team in dire need of a left-footed player.
Bastos is a versatile footballer who can play either left back like he does for Brazil, or left midfield. At 27 he has a lot of experience playing for clubs such as Lille and Lyon, as well as clubs in his native Brazil.
Bastos has speed down the left side and would bring his Brazilian flair to a team that has lacked an identity the past few seasons. Not only is he solid at the back and dangerous on the wing, but he also can score some goals.
Last year he tallied nine goals in all competitions, and the year before he had 12 goals.
Bastos will receive his European passport within the next couple of weeks, which would be great for a Serie A team that decides to sign him due to the rule that is in place in Italy regarding non-EU players.
Juventus have already made an offer for Bastos, but only time will tell if he decides to come to Turin.
2. Giuseppe Rossi
This one is a no-brainer.
When clubs like Barcelona are pursuing Giuseppe Rossi, you know he is a special player.
Rossi is an extremely skilled player on the ball who seemingly disappears around defenders when he is dribbling. Similar to Lionel Messi, Rossi is not all that tall but has lots of speed, great vision, incredible ball control, and a deadly left foot.
A return to Italy for the country’s biggest club would be a great fit for the current Villarreal striker from Teaneck, New Jersey. He would get to play alongside fellow national team players like Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Gianluigi Buffon, Claudio Marchisio, and Alessandro Matri.
An attacking combo of Rossi and Matri would be great for the chemistry between both players, and it would also help develop better chemistry for the Italian national team. Much like Barcelona does for Spain, Juventus can create a similar situation for the Italian national team.
Though La Liga might not have as good defense as the Serie A, Giuseppe Rossi would still thrive playing for Juventus. He is the superstar forward that would score lots of goals in Serie A.
It surely would be interesting seeing him in the famous black and white stripes of Juventus.
Often drawing comparisons to father-in-law Diego Maradona, Sergio Aguero is a pure striker who would fit in well with Juventus.
The Argentine possesses Maradona-like dribbling skills, great ball control, a deadly short-range shot and a great motor. He is a bulldog up top that uses his strength to shield off defenders and put himself in good positions.
Aguero has scored at least twenty goals in every season but one every year since 2007. Last year he scored 20 goals in La Liga and 29 goals in all competitions.
4. Karim Benzema
At only 23 years old, Karim Benzema has become a star, scoring goal after goal for Lyon before moving to Real Madrid in 2009.
Benzema is often compared to former-Juventus great Zinedine Zidane and has great pace while exhibiting deadly finishing skills around the goal.
Benzema has struggled to find playing time at Real Madrid over guys like Higuain, Ronaldo, and Adebayor, and spent most of last season relegated to the bench. Despite the limited playing time, he scored 15 goals in just over 30 appearances.
Juventus has been linked to Benzema, and a move to Juventus would allow him to show off his skill on a regular basis as a starter for the Bianconeri.
He is a lethal goal-scorer and just the kind of forward that Juventus can use to match the quality of Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Cassano, and Robinho at the San Siro.
5. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez made a name for himself this past season scoring 12 goals for Udinese and propelling the team to a surprising Champions League berth.
At only 22 years old, Sanchez has impressed clubs all over the world including Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona, and Juventus.
The Chilean striker played well in the 2010 World Cup and has continued his growth as a player, learning from teammate Antonio Di Natale. Sanchez is skilled on the ball and knows how to score important goals when the game is on the line.
While we do not know whether or not Juventus will offer him upwards of $50 million, he would be a great addition to a team in desperate need of a potent goal-scorer.
His youth and exciting style of play would energize a struggling Juventus side, and surely help contribute to more wins in 2011.
Although early in his Manchester United career, Nani lived in the shadow of fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo. Nani has emerged as one of the best wingers in the game since Ronaldo’s departure for Real Madrid.
Nani can play right wing or left wing and can use both feet effectively when crossing, passing, or shooting the ball. He is a dangerous player down the sideline who possesses unbelievable trickery and pace when running at defenders. He is also known for some stunning goals from long-range, including a 30-yard wonder-strike in 2007 versus Tottenham to win the game.
The Portuguese winger has been linked with Juventus this offseason and would fit in perfectly on the left side of midfield alongside Pirlo, Marchisio, and Krasic. His flair and bursts of speed would help the team score more goals, even though he might be a bit lazy on defense.
7. Sebastian Giovinco
The “atomic ant,” as he is known, Sebastian Giovinco would be a great fit if he returns from loan from Parma. He is a gifted technical player with great speed and an eye for the goal. He is a left-footed midfielder who can also play up top and score goals.
Although he stands just 5’4’’, his heart is bigger than most players. All of the criticism and people who say he is too small to play has given him a lot of motivation to succeed at the highest level.
Juventus knows what they are getting if they acquire Giovinco. He has played his entire career in Italy and is used to the league. He recently gained his first call-up to the Italian national team and has impressed with Parma this past season.
The “atomic ant” scored seven times last season, including three versus Juventus. He caught the attention of his former club with his brilliant performances in 2010-11, and I’m sure Juventus wish they hadn’t loaned him.
In a midfield consisting of Milos Krasic, Andrea Pirlo, Felipe Melo, and Claudio Marchisio, Giovinco could either play left midfield, a more central position in midfield, or possibly a third attacker.
If Parma decides not to sign him, Juventus would be extremely happy to acquire the services of the Italian youngster.
8. Carlos Tevez
Carlos Tevez is a world-class striker and one of the best in the world at what he does.
He is a terror for defenders because of his incredible work ethic and bulldog approach up top. He is fearless on the pitch and displays a great deal of confidence while finishing just about every chance he is presented with.
Tevez, like many other superstars, has great technical skills and great pace. What makes him different, however, is his astounding physicality and ability to shield off opponents despite his relatively short stature.
The Argentine could play striker for Juventus or even a more withdrawn position like he does for Manchester City. He could score goals or create chances for his teammates.
Tevez has also been a player that floats around to different teams. Since 2006 he has played for four different teams including Corinthians, West Ham, Manchester United, and Manchester City.
Maybe a move to Italy and a new setting will be a positive for Tevez.
9. Mario Balotelli
Though the hot-headed Italian star might give coaching staffs unneeded headaches, Balotelli would be a great addition to any team.
He is quick, strong, flashy, and a good one-on-one player who can get past any defender standing in front of him. He shows tremendous confidence for a 20-year-old, and isn’t shy about taking on defenders.
There is no questioning his talent. Balotelli is a tremendous player with all of the tools needed to be a world class player. The only issues with Balotelli, however, are his lack of discipline and inability to stay healthy throughout the course of a season.
A move to Juventus would give him regular playing time, which is hard to come by with the congested roster of Manchester City. Juventus could certainly use his presence as the team has lacked confidence the past few seasons.
He would bring an instant spark to the Turin side and frequently put the ball in the back of the net playing alongside either Matri, Quagliarella, or Del Piero.
Coming back to Italy would be an interesting move for “Super Mario.”
10. Dimitar Berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov is a very underrated striker, playing alongside Wayne Rooney.
While his game might not be tailored to the fast-paced and physical English Premier League style of play, he would fit in well playing Serie A football. He has a great touch, good control on the ball, and he is a quality finisher.
Critics often talk about how he slows the game down for Manchester United and how he hasn’t lived up to the expectations of a big contract. But there is no question that the Bulgarian has talent.
Berbatov scored 21 goals in all competitions for Manchester United in 2010-11 and has averaged just about 20 goals per season since 2003. He has made a habit of scoring three, four, or five goals in a single game.
With the recent incident between Berbatov and Alex Ferguson in which Berbatov was left off of United’s UEFA Champions League Final roster, the Bulgarian’s future at Old Trafford looks to be in jeopardy.
Juventus could look to bring him over from England if he is unhappy playing for Ferguson.
11. Stephan Lichtsteiner
Juventus’ defensive problems last year started at right back. After bringing in Marco Motta on loan from Udinese, the young right back did not impress. Too many mistakes and bad decisions from this position led to disappointing results versus lesser opponents.
Juventus also tried the Danish teenager Frederik Sorensen at right defense and he had some success, but his inexperience showed. Zdenek Grygera, Hassan Salihamidzic, and Simone Pepe all had a try at right back too, but none of these players played well enough to take the starting job.
If Juventus wants to have a successful season in 2011, they need to shore up the back and go after an experienced defender like Stephan Lichsteiner, who has played in Serie A with Lazio since 2008.
Lichtsteiner is a speedy right back who can put in some good crosses and get into the attacking third of the field. He can provide width on the right and is a solid marker in defense.
While he might not be a superstar like Dani Alves, Lichsteiner is affordable and a good option at defense alongside Chiellini and Bonucci.
12. Edin Dzeko
One of the biggest names during the January transfer window last season, Dzeko was constantly linked to Juventus before signing a big deal with Manchester City. The Bosnian didn’t want to wait for the summer to join Juventus, so he decided to go to Eastlands.
The 6’4’’ attacker is dangerous in the air and a strong player off the ball. In 2008 he scored 30 goals, and in 2009 he had 28 goals for Wolfsburg. He scored 14 goals last season in all competitions, but only two for Manchester City.
Dzeko appeared in 15 games but only started eight of those games. He will have to fight for minutes again this year with teammates like Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Emmanuel Adebayor, and a host of other star players.
Dzeko has yet to adapt to the English game and hasn’t had much success so far in the Premier League, mainly because of his lack of speed. He would be better suited playing in Serie A and a move to Juventus would be good for him as he would gain regular playing time.
He could become the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic if he decides to play for the Bianconeri.
13. Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben has been all over the world and has played for some of the world’s biggest clubs such as Chelsea, Real Madrid, and currently Bayern Munich. He is a left-footed winger who can play either side of the midfield, and who can score some brilliant goals using his golden left foot.
Robben plays the right side for Bayern Munich and his national team, cutting in to test the goalie with curling shots or teasing crosses. With 12 goals last season, he has shown his goal-scoring ability and also his ability to take on defenders on the wing and be a playmaker to set up goals.
While Milos Krasic plays right midfield, Robben could play on his natural left side of the midfield and add speed and width to the attack which Juventus lacked last season. With the Dutchmen on the left, Juventus doesn’t have to go through the middle like they did in 2010 with Aquliani pulling the strings.
As most Arsenal players are under Arsene Wenger, Nicklas Bendtner is a young player at just 23 but has played professionally since 2005. He might not be the big name player that Tevez, Benzema, and Balotelli are, but all that matters is that he puts the ball in the back of the net.
The Danish striker is a tall and strong player who is good in the air and good with the ball at his feet. He is a big target to aim for in the box on set pieces and can have a similar impact on the game as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Bendtner’s game would be effective in the Serie A if he plays with Juventus. Pirlo would set him up with some great service, and a smaller and faster striker could play off of him as a second striker. A Del Piero and Bendtner partnership would be a pretty good combination for the Old Lady.