Soccer Champions League

Europa League Ouster Highlights Juventus’ Need for Younger Attack

Carlos Tevez

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One. That’s how many Europa League goals JuventusCarlos Tevez scored this European campaign. With Juventus bowing out in the semifinal stage to Benfica, it also represents the number of goals Juventus scored in 180 minutes of combined play against the Portuguese side. Naturally, this lack of firepower highlighted a need for the Serie A front-runners: to get younger in attack.

Juventus’ attack is led by Tevez and usually one of Fernando Llorente and Mirko Vucinic. Passionately nicknamed the “Old Lady,” Juventus is fast becoming the old men. While midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo, at 34, continues to dazzle, his is a game of finesse and precision. The striker usually accommodates their deft scoring touch with that extra ounce of pace or athleticism to elude defenders. Tevez (30), Llorente (29) and Vucinic (30) no longer possess the young legs to gain that type of advantage.

Yes, Tevez, with 19 Serie A goals, and Llorente, with 15, both find themselves in the top 5 of Serie A scorers. The Italian league, though, is known for being slower, more drawn out and overall less rambunctious to other top European leagues, specifically the Premier League (England) and Bundesliga (Germany). In essence, this is still a very formidable strike force in Serie A. When it comes to European fixtures, however, this decorated side can become exposed by the differing styles of play.

Having already assured themselves of a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, Europe’s elite football competition, Juventus need to add a younger option this summer in attack. Thanks to the influx of cash that comes with qualifying for the Champions League, Juventus should have some money to spend this summer reinforcing their squad.

A player to keep an eye on is Ciro Immobile. Torino‘s 24-year-old striker is currently the top hit-man in Serie A with 21 goals. The athletic forward also comes with a lean 6-foot-1 frame. Funny enough, he was on the Juventus books for a period between 2009-2012, although he spent the vast majority of his time there being loaned out to other clubs. With his recent success, it’s not a stretch to think Juventus would try and get him back.

Having been held to one goal over two legs against Benfica, Juventus should be in the market for a youthful striker. Their former player, Immobile — falsely represented by his surname — may be just what the Old Lady needs.

Jamey Holt is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @sportsthinktank or add him to your network on Google.