Juventus has reportedly prioritized the signing of a new number nine and have already informed Gonzalo Higuain he has been deemed surplus to requirements by Andrea Pirlo. The Argentine’s departure leaves a gaping hole up front, one that the Bianconeri are eager to fill.
Paulo Dybala has deputized as a false nine towards the tail end of last season under Maurizio Sarri but typically is at his best working in tandem. As a result, Juventus has been linked with a plethora of strikers – some who are better fits than others. Let’s now take a deeper look at their transfer targets.
Roma’s Edin Dzeko is said to be atop Pirlo’s list for strikers and has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus in recent times. The Bosnian international is currently weighing up his future and will meet with Roma’s executives shortly to outline the path ahead. While Dzeko may be 34 years old, the striker offers the Bianconeri a physical presence in the final third and will help occupy the opposition’s center-backs. In addition, Dzeko excels at holding up the ball and bringing his teammates into play.
In terms of feasibility, Dzeko’s signing could represent a worthy rental and give the Bianconeri some much-needed depth upfront. Provided Juve can secure him on a short-term deal on reasonable wages, the Roma man could just emerge as Pirlo’s number nine.
Beyond Dzeko, Juve has also been linked with Barcelona’s Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan is reportedly extremely keen on joining the Italian champions and will begin negotiating his exit shortly. According to reports, Suarez’s does not figure in Ronald Koeman’s plans – who is eager to rejuvenate the Catalan giants. The main obstacle between Juventus and Suarez is undoubtedly his increased wages. However, that may be remedied with a hefty severance package from Barcelona, which in turn, may lead to Suarez accepting a pay-cut to join Juve.
Despite all his experience, Suarez isn’t exactly the best fit and has slowed down since last season. The Uruguayan has not been his typical fiery self in the final third and does not press the opposition with as much urgency. In this sense, Suarez would be very similar to Higuain and would not be a step in the right direction. The veteran forward may be spurred on by a new challenge in Italy, but as of right now, there are better options.
The last name Juventus have been linked with is their former academy graduate Moise Kean. The Bianconeri inexplicably sold the Italian international to Everton last summer and are reportedly eyeing a sensational return. Recent reports have suggested that Juventus are looking to insert Aaron Ramsey in a potential deal for Kean, bringing down the overall cost of the operation.
Kean impressed in a subdued role in his first season with Juve and is already familiar with Serie A. Unlike Suarez and Dzeko, Kean has the benefit of youth on his side and will command fewer wages than the veteran hitmen. The Everton man has struggled to adapt to life in England, failing to impress in his limited appearances, but could revitalize his career with a return to Juve.
With the new season kicking off in under a month’s time, expect Juventus to have their new striker sooner rather than later. Whether they opt for a veteran, short-term option including the likes of Dzeko or Suarez or go for a high-upside move with the return of Kean, remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain: Andrea Pirlo is here to shake things up and is clearly eager to rejuvenate Juventus’ stuttering frontline.
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