Missing a centre-forward

Posted on 09/11/2010

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Juventus are flying high but their weak link is up front. Serafino Ingardia feels Amauri and Vincenzo Iaquinta are not good enough to be regulars


Juventus are making an impact in Serie A and have been praised for their achievements so far. Injuries aside, everything has been going reasonably well for the Bianconeri and Gigi Del Neri’s tactics have clearly worked for the team.

Despite being shaky at times, their backline is now responding adequately. The midfield has performed beyond expectations with impressive performances from Alberto Aquilani, Felipe Melo and Milos Krasic. Still their crucial problem has been up front, where despite fantastic displays from Alessandro Del Piero and good input from Fabio Quagliarella, Juve have been missing a real bomber.

A team which wishes to compete for the title should be able to count on a striker, who is capable of bagging in the region of 20 goals per season. The truth is that neither Amauri nor Vincenzo Iaquinta have so far proved to be able to net goals galore.

According to many, Iaquinta is past his best. In all fairness, Vincenzone has been struggling due to several injuries which have been bothering him since pre-season. For a player of his build, who bases his game on a physical approach, this is simply making it impossible for him to perform at his best. Nevertheless, for a club as Juventus, the former Udinese player should be regarded as a back up player and nothing more.

Amauri’s situation instead has been slightly more complicated and the Bianconeri fans are getting increasingly annoyed with the Brazilian. The former Palermo man is yet to score in Serie A this term. OK, he has had injury problems too but everybody in Turin thought this was going to be his season.

The striker was signed from Palermo for over £20m but his scoring trend at Juve has been really disappointing. In his first season, Amauri scored 12 Serie A goals while in his second he could only manage five in 30 games. The Brazilian does put in great effort but his goal drought seemed endless at times. Surely a team like Juventus needs more than that and, at least according to statistics, Amauri can also be regarded as nothing more than a reserve.

It is important to note also how teams like Sampdoria with Giampaolo Pazzini and Fiorentina with Alberto Gilardino have forwards with a scoring touch much greater than Amauri and Iaquinta put together, never mind mentioning Inter and Milan’s attacking force. Indeed, the Old Lady missed a great chance this summer when they could have signed Marco Borriello but let him go to Roma.

Still Del Neri is determined to help Amauri improve which is understandable as he tries to make the most of what he has, but it is also reasonable for director general Beppe Marotta to be looking for a replacement in January. There have been all sorts of reports in recent weeks – Juve to swap Amauri for Diego Forlan, links to Edin Dzeko, Fernando Llorente and Karim Benzema.

The truth is Juve cannot afford to spend big in January as they won’t be certain of Champions League football next season, but also because negotiations will be incredibly complicated. Unless Marotta pulls a trick of his, Del Neri’s magic touch will be needed to work on both Amauri and Iaquinta if Juve are to succeed this term.



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