Juventus and the January Transfer Window: Is There Really a Need For a Big Move?
As Italy's Old Lady is flying high and about to take on rival Inter next weekend, it's hard to forget that there is also an important month that has bigger implications than just the final months of the season.
That, of course, is the January transfer window.
It's no secret that people feel that if Juventus want to be successful, not only in the Champions League but also in Serie A, they will need to spend big.
But with Juve currently one of the hottest teams in all of Europe, one must consider if bringing in a big-time superstar is really what the team needs.
And then there is the Italian media, who is never shy to float names out there that the club might or might not pursue when Jan. 1, 2009 rolls around.
No matter how many moves, if any, Sporting Director Alessio Secco makes; they will be put under the microscope.
And considering Secco's transfer failures in the past—defender Jean-Alain Boumsong and midfielders Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes—he will certainly have to hit one of the park to get the fans back on his side.
There are of course the players that the fans want to see signed, with Werder Bremen's attacking midfielder Diego atop the list. The Brazilian international has been linked with a move to Turin over the last 18 months since Juve were promoted back into Serie A.
However, while the fans will want Diego as long as he is not wearing black and white, how he will fit into manager Claudio Ranieri's 4-4-2 system is somewhat unclear. It's no secret that Ranieri prefers two defensive minded center midfielders in his starting squad and if Diego was brought into the mix, Ranieri would certainly have to change his tactics.
Even though there are still six weeks to go before the window opens, there are tons of names, other than Diego, being thrown out there by the press.
The latest one to be thrown out there is Schalke's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who told Italian paper Tuttosport that, if the club signs him, he will doing everything possible to become "Juve's new Zidane."
Other names to be thrown out by the press in recent weeks have been PSV Eindhoven 22-year-old Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, who has hinted he is looking to move to a bigger club, Villareal striker Giuseppe Rossi, wingers Joaquin of Valencia, Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich, and Tottenham midfielder Luca Modric.
So with all these names being thrown around, should people actually think that one of them may be coming to Turin?
Considering how the Juve board has done business since the return to Serie A, the spectacular player has been replaced by the solid ones and big-money and big-name moves have been hard to find.
But remember, this team just a few weeks ago was in poor form. Not just because of a few questionable decisions by Ranieri, but also because it seemed like every game two or three different players were getting hurt.
And now, those injured players are coming back one-by-one to help Juve’s charge to the top of the table.
Midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who had formed a solid partnership with Sissoko until he was injured in Juve's first meeting with Real Madrid in the Champions League, returned to the squad but did not feature in Thursday's 4-1 win against Genoa.
Along with Marchisio's return, two other midfielders, Cristiano Zanetti and Christian Poulsen are close to being avaliable for Ranieri to use. Add Tiago, who might finally be settling in to life in Italy, and The Tinkerman will have some options to play with in the coming weeks.
And when the New Year arrives, two of the club's best players, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and striker David Trezeguet, will be returning from their long-term injuries that has kept them out for most of the season.
So with the return of Buffon and Trezeguet just a little over a month away, the team will once again be one of the deepest teams in all of Serie A. Whether that means Trezeguet or Amauri going to the bench, it’s not a bad thing.
The old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” certainly applies to the Old Lady at the moment.
A lot of fans think that Juve might need to sign that big-name player to complete the puzzle, but in all honesty, do they really?
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