The search for a number 9.
When news broke that Higuain was no longer in Juventus plans it wasn't exactly breaking news, fans after all have been here before, and recently too. In 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo was signed and as one door opened another seemingly closed for Higuain, who was quickly loaned out to Milan and again midway through the season to Chelsea. Fast forward to the present however and its an all too similar story. Once again Higuain is heading for the exit door but this time its permanent, as new manager Andrea Pirlo revealed "The cycle has come to an end, and as professionals we looked each other in the eye and decided to make this decision." So with the impending departure of Higuain who will be replacing the number 9 affectionately called 'Pipita'? Lets take a look at the rumours and discuss the pro's and con's of each potential arrival.
Luis Suarez (33 Years old)
With Barcelona's shocking 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich a clear out was always on the cards for this squad, and seemingly top of that list of names is Luis Suarez. Despite being a well known name in the world of football, for both good and bad reasons, Suarez has somewhat been a mixed bag over the past few seasons for Barcelona. Suarez has scored 7 goals over 27 appearances since 2017 in Europe's elite cup competition the Champions League, considering how much Juventus want to win this competition Suarez doesn't seem to fit the bill of a difference maker on a big European night. Suarez La Liga record last season of 16 goals over 28 appearances also doesn't make for impressive reading, not helped by persistent knee problems that resulted in the Uruguayan needing knee surgery as recently as January of this year. When you put all these things together it no longer comes as a surprise as to why Barcelona are looking to end Suarez time with the club.
- Can play several positions
- Big name in football
- High wages
- Age, will turn 34 in January
- Poor goal scoring record in Champions League, 7 goals over 27 app from 2017 - present
- Persistent knee injury, missing 21 games for Barcelona recovering from surgery this year
Edin Džeko (34 Years old)
A physically strong target man could be just what Juventus need in attack, as one could argue that it was an attribute that Juventus sorely missed last season with Mario Mandzukic leaving the club. Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo formed a successful partnership during their short time playing together, as the Croatian forward would bully his way through defences which would create space for Ronaldo to attack. Could Džeko form a similar partnership with Ronaldo? Signing Džeko would once again give Juventus a physical presence in attack, which could really come in handy from set piece situations such as corner kicks which was a position Juventus struggled to capitalise on last season. Džeko could also hold the ball up effectively to allow team mates to join the attack and get in dangerous positions, something that Dybala for example lacks when it comes to the physical side of the game. Džeko also knows how to hit the back of the net, scoring 16 goals in Serie A last season and 106 overall during his 5 season's with Roma. Also when it comes to finances Roma have reportedly put a €15M price tag on Džeko , meaning that transfer funds would not take a big hit and could be used elsewhere to further strengthen the squad. However, when taking into account that Džeko will turn 35 next March and roughly earn the same amount that was being paid to Higuain is it a price worth paying for a short term option?
- Experience playing in Serie A
- Known goal scorer
- Physical presence
- Could be perfect partner for Ronaldo like Mandzukic was
- Age, will turn 35 next year
- Lack of pace
- Can only play one position