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SerieAWeekly On January - 10 - 2012

Club Juventus Winter Mercato

guest writer - Luca Cetta

Looking to build from a start to the season in which they sit second behind Milan only on goal difference and remain the only unbeaten side in Europe’s top leagues, January is shaping up to be an important month on and off the pitch for Juventus.

During 2009-2010 Juventus lost three out of four in January, while last season’s disastrous loss against Parma (including Fabio Quagliarella’s season ending injury) was compounded by a thrashing at Napoli days later.

With action resumed this past weekend the Bianconeri traveled to the Stadio Via del Mare to face Lecce. The Salentini are the only side to have not won at home all season and this did not chance as Juve wary of their false January restarts over the past two years leading to consecutive seventh placed finishes eeked out a 1-0 victory courtesy of striker Alessandro Matri scoring the lone goal in the 27th minute .

Looking at the transfer market, Juventus has already made their first signing as they chase the Scudetto dream. The Bianconeri have sealed a €0.5m loan move for Marco Borriello. The ex-Roma striker was on the outer under Luis Enrique and the deal includes an option to make the move permanent at the end of the season for €8m. The transfer has been met with groans of disappointment from fans, but to take it for what it is, Borriello moves to Turin to act as the vice Alessandro Matri. Coach Antonio Conte has deemed a backup required should Matri not fire, get injured or be in need of a rest. Should it not work out for Juventus then he goes back to Rome.

While there may be a case of too many attacking players in the squad, they are looking to trim the numbers. Three players yet to see action so far this season are Vincenzo Iaquinta, Luca Toni and Amauri. Both Toni and Amauri are out of contract at the end of the campaign; the Italo-Brazilian could depart this month with Fiorentina and Roma interested, while Toni has been linked with Cagliari and Cesena. Iaquinta has also been linked with Fiorentina as well as Newcastle, who have offered a loan deal with an option to buy.

In midfield, Sampdoria captain Angelo Palombo was initially linked as Juve searches for an additional body to assist the trio of Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal. Another name mentioned is David Pizarro, who has struggled for playing time at Roma. The two names make sense from a tactical viewpoint, both able to act as backup for Pirlo. Palombo and Pizarro can sit in front of the defence and build attacking moves. Both would be short-term options at 30 and 32 respectively but add an extra dimension to Conte’s midfield.

Looking further back and Martin Caceres has been the hot name defensively. The Uruguayan impressed when on loan in Turin during 2009/10 but was not retained by Giuseppe Marotta. His price has come down now and Juve are negotiating another loan with option to buy deal with Sevilla. Caceres adds versatility to the defence, which is in need of a backup for Stephan Lichtsteiner and possibly a left-back, depending on how Conte views Paolo De Ceglie’s role in the team. Caceres can play on either flank, as well as in the centre. His arrival also means Conte has the option of shifting Giorgio Chiellini back into the centre of defence.

Frederik Sorensen has been associated with a potential loan deal for the remainder of 2011/12 in order to see increased playing time. The young Dane has plenty of potential but has only featured once, in the Coppa Italia against Bologna, the side interested in a temporary deal.

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