Carlos Tevez: Can he solve the Juventus striker conundrum?

So it’s finally over. Carlos Tevez’s tumultuous four years at Manchester City on astronomical wages is finished with. He is now the property of Italian champions Juventus, but is it the right move for Juventus and the right move for Mr. Tevez, who never really settled in England.

Despite some, in fact many, flashes of brilliance at West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester City, Tevez’s time in England will ultimately be reviewed as a highly controversial one that bought him as many enemies as admirers. Constant complaints about being homesick, the way he was played and (reportedly) wages have made many view Tevez as the epitome of what is wrong with “modern football”.

Juventus are a side that have a large basis upon team spirit, and Tevez was thought to have divided many of the dressing rooms he was in. To be truly successful at his new club, one would assume Tevez must integrate quickly and handle himself with a lot more maturity.

Few would question whether Tevez has the raw technical ability to score goals in Serie A. The Argentinian scored 58 times in 113 appearances for City in the Premier League, but also provided his teammates with assists, 13 in his last season. You can expect Tevez to cause problems due to his tenacity and determination, feeding off passes and crosses with his movement. Much like Luis Suarez, defenders can’t rest when Tevez is about, while set pieces are another way in which Tevez excels.

However, despite his finishing ability, Tevez isn’t exactly a typical centre forward. He regularly drops back and out wide, but Juventus do not really need that with the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Kwadwo Asamoah, Arturo Vidal, Sebastian Giovinco and Claudio Marchisio to name just a few, already offering those services.

If Tevez does play like the central attacking midfielder he was at times last season, there will be a gaping hole in the penalty box when Juventus attack. Therefore, Tevez may well need a striker to play alongside in the same way he did with Adebayor and then Aguero at Manchester City, or as he did with Rooney or Berbatov at Manchester United.

So if Juventus are forced to play Tevez alongside a player like this in their 3-5-2 formation, who will it be. The Old Lady have added Fernando Llorente to their squad for the new season, while Fabio Quagliarella, Mirko Vučinić, Alessandro Matri and Sebastian Giovinco are all still at the club, but many question whether these are capable of carrying Juventus to the next level, in other words the closing stages of the Champions League.

Juventus have a very settled starting eleven and general squad with the exception of the man that spearheads the attack. His form for Bilbao especially in the Europa League campaign of 2011-12 suggested Llorente was good enough to change all this, but a mere 5 goals in 36 games in his last season at Bilbao have created some doubts.

Tevez is probably a bigger name than any of the aforementioned, but his ability to be in the right place at the right time and to be consistently putting in the same shift every week makes this deal seem like a massive gamble in many respects.

Gonzalo Higuain is one name who has been linked with Juventus for a while now, as he is expected to leave Real Madrid. Higuain is very much more like a typical centre forward than his fellow Argentine Tevez is, and plays a lot more of a central role too. Although Higuain is less of a powerhouse and a defensive handful than Tevez, Higuain’s finishing tends to be a lot more accomplished and he is a probably more reliable.

Javier Hernandez is another name that has been linked with Juventus as his movement and almost permanent presence in and around the box makes him seem like the ideal man for this industrial, well organised Juventus team. Tevez was the talisman at almost every team when he enjoyed his best period, with some speculating Tevez wasn’t cut out for Manchester United due to his ego. Once again, the addition of Tevez to this Juventus team seems risky.

One of my key memories of Juventus’ season were the two games against eventual winners FC Bayern München in the Champions League. Expecting a close, tactical game I was highly impressed by Bayern in both games but also equally disappointed with Juventus, who were comfortably beaten 2-0 in both games, 4-0 on aggregate.

In truth, the score line could have been a lot, lot worse for the Italian champions, as Bayern overpowered them in pretty much every department. Although the mere presence of a striker would not have simply stopped Bayern, having a player as tenacious as Tevez almost certainly would have given Juventus some inspiration and potential to claw back into these games.

In his first two seasons especially, Tevez excelled against teams where City were perhaps the underdogs, with two goals away at Chelsea in a 4-2 victory in 2009-10 being a prime example of what Tevez can do when he counter attacks with the ball at his feet. Even though Juventus will not be underdogs too many times this season, when they counter attack, Tevez is arguably the best man to create and finish for the Old Lady.

All in all, €9 million for Tevez is a bargain, with Manchester City clearly desperate to, at last, get him off their books and wage bill. His personal disciplinary record and all round being have put a stigma around Tevez, but he will work hard and is a real ace in any team’s pack. How much he fits into Juventus’ system and dressing room remains to be seen, but Tevez adds yet more quality to Conte’s squad and could be the striking solution the Italian club have needed for a while now.

Whatever happens, it is unlikely that Carlos Tevez will not create some headlines in Turin, and it shall be interesting to see how many goals and assists he creates, too.

 

Written by Joshua Sodergren

Follow Josh on Twitter @chelseasalad365

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