Buy someone younger, Juve. Just do it. | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
As Andrea Pirlo paves the way for a new era at Juventus, the expected shift in approach hasn’t gone down quite as such.
A squad mixed with ageing starts and youthful exuberance was expected to lean more towards the latter – especially with Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain set to have their contracts terminated – yet the targets mooted in the aftermath suggest otherwise.
Luis Suarez has been heavily linked, while if that move falls through then sprightly young Edin Dzeko is next up with Alvaro Morata also in the running.
Hardly the spring chickens to bridge the age gap, right? So, instead, here are some younger options that Juventus should be looking to bring in this summer.
Daka tore the Austrian Bundesliga to shreds last season | Michael Molzar/Getty Images
There is a quite painful dearth of good, young strikers in Europe right now. All the big hitters are pushing 30 in this new golden age of experience over raw impact, leaving the available options for Juventus thin on the ground.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, though. Over in Austria, a young Zambian by the name of Patson Daka is taking the league by storm, bringing it upon himself to fill the (very) large boots of the departed Erling Haaland at Red Bull Salzburg. The obvious caveats to his fine goalscoring form are that the league isn’t overly stocked with quality, and that which there is, is almost entirely found in the Salzburg side.
Nevertheless, the array of goals he scored last season are not to be scoffed at. Ranging from the delicate to the menacing, when he hits a ball, it stays hit. Unlike Suarez (and pretty much all strikers when they’re 33), he’s also lightening quick.
Where there are similarities is in the technical department. Daka loves a flick and a trick, just as happy to run in behind the backline as he is taking it on at pace and beating his man. With such skill, there are minor Suarez flashes. Just minor, of course.
Dembele isn’t ‘young’, but he’s younger, at least. | TF-Images/Getty Images
As mentioned, there aren’t many young strikers up for grabs. However, given that he’s still nine years Suarez’s junior, 24-year-old Moussa Dembele counts. Just.
Scoring close to 100 goals in his previous four seasons with Celtic and Lyon respectively, his one-in-two strike rate has, as expected, seen him linked with a move away from France. Manchester United have been previously mentioned, but if Juventus want to reset their squad and build for the future, then players in his age bracket are where they should be aiming for.
The issue they have is that only the likes of Suarez will satisfy Cristiano Ronaldo in attack. A ‘big’ name is what they’re after, but that dispels the underlying needs of the squad which is to build towards the future. Dembele would go some way towards bridging that.
It’s a shame he’d cost a bloody fortune. | Pool/Getty Images
There is a rather large question mark over Moise Kean’s future on Merseyside, but while it appears the Italian will be granted another opportunity to prove his worth in the Premier League, his teammate has already done so.
Richarlison’s European career may only be three seasons long, but he’s already garnered a decent reputation for his performances at both Watford and the Toffees. What would suit well in Juventus’ setup is he versatility across the front line. Under Carlo Ancelotti he’s been fielded as one of two strikers, but his natural instincts are to drift wide and pull defenders out of place.
Alongside Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, the interchanging nature of the Juventus forwards would help the Brazilian bed in, where it isn’t unfamiliar to see Ronaldo flutter between centre forward and left winger.
Of course, that was under Maurizio Sarri. Whether Pirlo is keen on implementing similar ideas is unlikely, otherwise it would have been pointless offering him the job. Also, he’d cost bloody loads.
Edouard top scored in Scotland last season | Pool/Getty Images
Odsonne Edouard plays his football in Scotland. Let’s just get that out of the way. Like the already mentioned Daka, this will put some people off him as a signing, but anyone doing so with the Frenchman should sit in a dark room and watch his weekly performances for Celtic back-to-front. Because you’re wrong.
He really is a quite remarkable talent who, in no disrespect to Scottish football, needs the stage to match his ability. That looks increasingly likely to be elsewhere in Europe, with there no reason to suggest it shouldn’t be Juventus.
Despite his frame, Edouard is exceptional with his feet, whether that’s drifting in from wide areas or getting out of tight situations in the opposition box. Scoring all manner of goals, the flaws in his game have been gradually ironed out throughout his time in Glasgow.
If there is any striker ready to step up across the continent, then the 22-year-old is that man.