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Julian De Martinis On July - 1 - 2011

Sergio Aguero To Juventus: The Old Lady’s Makeover

Sergio Aguero: Striker, surely. Argentine, indubitably. Statement of intent? Quite possibly. After putting himself on the transfer market, via Twitter of all places, the Atletico Madrid striker has become one of the hottest strikers available, albeit with an immensely high price tag. If Juventus can somehow scrape the money together however, the move may pay off immensely. Sergio Aguero’s much rumored move to Juve would not only be a coup for an Old Lady in desperate need of a facelift, but would rejuvenate all of Serie A and help to raise the status of the Italian game back towards its former, pre-Calciopoli heights.

At only twenty-three, Aguero’s young age indicates that his raw potential and talent should only get better, and there are three crucial factors that suggest he would be successful in Italy. The first is his impressive goalscoring rate, the crux of any striker’s reputation. In his five years with Atletico, the player proved to be more than worth his 2006 club transfer record of twenty-three million Euros.

His record is rather impressive, having notched seventy-four goals in one hundred seventy five appearances. A .42 goal to game ratio may not quite be the oft-cited target of .50 that most world class strikers seem to have, but it is not far behind either. His record for Argentina is comparable, with ten goals in twenty six appearances, the most impressive of which may be his double against Brazil to give his team the Gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Aguero has proven in his young career that he can score frequently for both club and country.

As good as his stats are, it is the rest of his game that is arguably even more impressive, in the second facet toward his potential success. Aguero mercilessly hounds every defense he plays against in Spain, including- and perhaps especially - Real Madrid and Barcelona. For example, in March 2008 he scored twice, assisted once and won a penalty to help his side beat Barcelona in their treble-winning season and also notched a double against the side a year later.

Furthermore, he has proven his particular brand of play to be effective outside of the Iberian Peninsula. A double against Chelsea in the Champions’ League in 2009 and a goal against Inter a year later in the UEFA Super Cup illustrates that Aguero is more Fernando Torres than Dani Guiza. There is little to suggest that he would not adjust to the Italian game- nor perhaps totally shake up a peninsula full of slow, aging strikers (See: Toni, Luca; Iaquinta, Vincenzo, Amauri- and those are just his potential future teammates!)

The final facet is his fame. Aguero is perhaps not the most famous of footballers but surely a rising star and an immensely bankable and marketable figure. His marriage to Giannina Maradona, daughter to the one and only Diego, only adds to his image. Juventus find themselves in desperate need of such a figure to place into their team, one that would enhance the prestige and reputation of the side.

A striker is surely not the primary need of Antonio Conte’s side, but Ageuro’s signing may prove worthwhile nevertheless. Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri each notched nine goals in half a season but it remains to be seen how each will do over the course of an entire season for a big club, especially given the former’s reputation for scoring spectacular goals infrequently. Aguero’s consistency and tenacity could complement Quagliarella’s penchant for the spectacular and Matri’s poacher-like instincts very comfortably.

By way of analogy, take Manchester City. Upon Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in August 2008, the Citizens suddenly found themselves with an influx of money that could compete with the elite of European clubs if not shatter the financial ceiling altogether. The world class players slowly trickled in, but it was the primary acquisition of Robinho, pried away from Chelsea at the last second, that proved that City and Mansour were a force to be taken seriously. Slowly, other superstars filed in: Yaya Toure, David Silva and Carlos Tevez chief amongst them.

It only takes one big transfer to make a statement, and Aguero could easily be Juventus’ Robinho: as much a signing as a proclamation that the once-great club is ready: ready to return to football’s elite, ready to buy players like Aguero again instead of Iaquinta, ready to compete truly in the Champions’ League again. If funds can be found Sergio Aguero may be one acquisition far more necessary than previously thought.

Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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  • Elaine

    Hmmmm… not convinced. I think Quags and Matri are more true to Juve’s needs and image. I think they’ve been missing heart, not flash. Were it not for Quags’ injury last season…

    But also, not sure about the Robinho analogy. Remember how he was miserable at Man City and insisted on a loan back to Santos? But is now happy as a clam and performing well at Milan? Juve definitely don’t need that kind of Robinho!! ;) (But really, attracting the big stars isn’t the problem, it’s paying for them, isn’t it?)

    • Walker

      Elaine you definitely are on to something besides Aguero is not worth the price tag and as you rightly point out Quags and Matri are more primed for an identical role. Perhaps management are less convinced, perhaps they need to build a new talisman on a poor man’s Del Piero. Perhaps all the media attention will come to nowt and bloggers will look terribly foolish. Or perhaps father-in-law Diego will still spin a Inter transfer so his son-in-law can join Davide Santon in the twilight zone.

  • Ted

    It’s not official yet….don’t jump to conclusions.

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