Didier Drogba: Should Juventus go for him?

As yet another transfer window opens, the cries from Juventus fans around the world continue. When are we going to buy a top class goalscorer?

Before the record breaking season which saw Juventus remain unbeaten for the entire season whilst claiming the Scudetto for the first time officially since the 2002/03 season, they were linked with big names in football such as Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aquero and Giuseppe Rossi to name a few. However, these transfers failed to materialize. Instead they opted for Roma’s Mirko Vucinic for €15 million.

After winning the Scudetto, the rumors began again. This is because Juventus relied heavily on their midfield to score and the amount of draws they accumulated [15] throughout the season. After all the speculation that occurred, Arsenal flop Nicklas Bendtner joined on a season long loan. After another strong start to the 2012/13 campaign, they finished 2012 as winter champions. Now that the January window has opened, the rumors have started again!

The latest links are with Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, now playing his trade for China’s Shanghai Shenhua. Juventus coach Antonio Conte has publicly made his feeling known about the Llorente speculation saying, “He [Llorente] did very well at Athletic Bilbao and in the current economic climate if there is a chance to take a great player at no cost, it is right to do it.”

Llorente has proven himself to be one of the top strikers in the world, making his presence known as he and Athletic Bilbao dumped giants Manchester United out of the Europa League last year, scoring 29 goals in all competitions in the process.

Didier Drogba on the other hand left European Champions Chelsea and signed a huge two and a half year contract with Shanghai Shenhua reportedly worth in the region of €12 million. That’s double what Juventus’ highest earner and club legend Gianluigi Buffon currently earns. Juventus would need to pay very high wages for Drogba to want to leave for the Italian champions; this is in direct contrast to the statement made in regards to Llorente by coach Antonio Conte.

Juventus director general, Beppe Marotta, the genius behind the transfers of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Mirko Vucinic confirmed that the club has inquired about the availability of Drogba, even though the coach Antonio Conte has stated that he has not enquired himself about Didier Drogba’s current situation.

The problems with obtaining Didier Drogba would be the huge wages he would add to the clubs budget. Juventus currently pay €115m in wages per year. The fact that he is ageing now at 34 would also be in direct contrast to the club’s model that is being imposed. He would also be heading off to the African Cup of Nations, and with the Ivory Coast one of the favorites to win the competition, he is likely to be away for the duration of the competition, which will not benefit Juventus in the short term.

There is no doubt that Didier Drogba is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world. He has scored 9 goals in 9 cup finals. He was voted Chelsea’s greatest ever player and amassed a total of 100 goals for Chelsea. The question is whether the huge investment in Drogba would be the best thing for Juventus in the long run, or would bringing in Llorente on a free transfer be the better option?

 

Written by Tom French

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