Connect with us


Juventus, a changing attack and coping without Carlos Tevez

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]arlos Tevez is capturing the headlines today for two reasons, with the talismanic striker in the media for reasons related to club and country.

The 31-year-old scored the decisive penalty against Colombia to send Argentina through to the Copa America semi-finals, with the ex-Manchester United man holding his nerve deep into a tense shootout.

Tevez’s club situation is about to change also, with Boca Juniors confirming that the tempestuous centre forward is set to return to his former club.

The Buenos Aires-born attacker has made no secret of his intention to return to La Bombonera and his wish has finally been granted – despite the fact that he is still more than good enough to play for Juventus.

Tevez came through the youth ranks at Los Xeneizes and featured in Boca’s first team for three years, in which he won four major trophies including the Copa Libertadores.

Fame and fortune elsewhere has dictated that the Argentine has had to leave his beloved club, but his emotional return will delight the Bombonera faithful.

For Juventus, coping without Tevez will be a big ask.

The Turin giants have been dominant domestically in recent years and backed this up with an excellent Champions League campaign in 2014-15, but the job of retaining their place as Italian football’s top team will be made more difficult without their attacking talisman.

Although the Bianconeri’s watertight defence and star-studded midfield may well gain the plaudits on the majority of occasions, the creative spark and penetration offered by Tevez has been the difference for the club on countless occasions.

Carlos TevezAlongside either Álvaro Morata or Fernando Llorente, the Argentine has been the glue that has linked the side’s midfield and attack, while he has also fulfilled the role of main goalscorer.

Tevez’s ability to drop deep to receive possession means that he offers a threat in behind and in front of opposition defences – a unenviable proposition for Serie A centre-halves.

Without him, Juve are robbed of invention and individualism and as such Max Allegri must consider his options ahead of next season.

Croatia international Mario Mandžukić has been signed as a replacement, with the burly attacker bringing experience and a proven track record of goals to the Juventus Stadium.

Only at Atlético Madrid for a solitary season, the frontman will be keen to prove himself at another big club after perhaps unfairly being shepherded out of the Spanish capital city side and Bayern Munich before that.

With the similarities between the new man and Llorente, seeing the Spaniard leave the club would not be a surprise.

The Argentine’s departure should give promising young French forward Kingsley Coman more time on the pitch, but despite his promise, the former Paris Saint-Germain starlet is not yet ready to replace Tevez on a week-to-week basis.

Most Juve fans will hope that Tevez’s compatriot, the prodigious Paulo Dybala, is the man to replace the outgoing star in the long-term.

The 21-year-old has been a sensation at Palermo over the last 12 months and will move to Turin ahead of next season.

Despite some similarities between the two Argentines and the way they play the game, Dybala has largely acted as an out-and-out number nine throughout his career.

He is adept at playing on the shoulder of opposition defenders and his success at the Stadio Renzo Barbera has been largely due to the unselfish supply of Franco Vázquez.

Going from being the big fish to just another superstar will mean Dybala will need to adapt, while a more holistic approach to his play, not just capitalising on the work of others, will be necessary for him to replicate the stunning showings of Tevez.

Much maligned in his time in England and ostracised from the Albiceleste national side by Alejandro Sabella, Tevez’s stint at Juventus has reestablished his reputation as one of the best of a generation.

The South American will be sorely missed in Turin, with Juventus having an unenviable task of life without him at the forefront of their thoughts currently.

More in Juventus