Why Nicolas Anelka's Loan to Juventus Spells Dangers for Bianconeri's Forwards

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 27, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02:  Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on January 2, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

According to various media outlets including ESPN, Nicolas Anelka is set for a half-season loan move to Juventus.

The Frenchman is unhappy at Shanghai Shenhua and has followed Didier Drogba's blueprint for the second time, as the Ivorian reportedly gets set for a similar move to Galatasaray.

Reigning Italian champions Juve are obviously concerned about their striking options after only managing to secure Fernando Llorente's signature from this summer, and popular consensus suggests a world-class forward is the only need.

Whether or not Anelka can be the difference for a team who have a legitimate shot at winning the UEFA Champions League may not be the most pertinent question though, the signing heaps pressure on the current crop.

One glance at the Old Lady's roster tells you that Antonio Conte has a luxury of options:


League only Starts Goals Assists
Mirko Vucinic 13 5 5
Fabio Quagliarella 10 7 1
Sebastian Giovinco 15 6 5
Alessandro Matri 4 4 2
Nicklas Bendtner 2 0 0
Vincenzo laquinta 0 0 0


There's six viable options top-flight clubs elsewhere would kill for, yet Conte can't work out what suits his side.

Vucinic is generally seen as the most indispensable, while Giovinco has been far from the attacking delight he was at Parma. Quagliarella excels when given the chance and Matri is restricted to a bench role.

Iaquinta is a non-factor despite starting for Italy in the World Cup just two years ago, and Bendtner is a questionable loan acquisition. What's the best combination? Still not sure. Who's the best option? It varies.

While Matri, Iaquinta and Bendtner currently cling to the edge of a roster for a chance of picking up silverware, they're unlikely to be afforded that luxury next season.

In fact, these three players have half a season to audition for any role at all with the historic Italian giants.

What is Matri's role with the Bianconeri? Not even he knows at the moment, as his only strength appears to be turning in low crosses from the right. He's not a starting XI component and will drop to fourth choice after the next arrival.

Iaquinta represents £90,000 a week in wages Giuseppe Marrotta would rather be without and Bendtner has no long-term future at the Juventus Stadium.

Assuming formica atomica is the long-term project and Vucinic remains the vital link between Andrea Pirlo and the forward line, does Quagliarella have the biggest four months ahead?

Who do you believe loses out for Conte's move to shore up the attack—both short-term and long-term—the most?