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Few hours back Juventus confirmed the transfer of Emanuele Giaccherini from Cesena, making him the seventh new signing for 2011-12 season. The exact details of the deal have still not been disclosed but rumors suggest a deal worth 3 million Euros,with Jorge Martinez moving to Cesena.
Born in a small village called Toscano Tolla in Arezzo, Giaccherini joined the Cesena Academy as a youngster. He started out as a central attacking midfielder during his early days with Cesena. Eventually, he moved up as a support striker and notched up an impressive nine goals during Cesena’s unexpected promotion in 2009-10 season. He can also play as a winger in a 4-3-3 while cutting back from the wings. Standing 5’5’’, Giaccherini has good pace and has ability to beat his man with his dribbles.
He played a crucial part in Cesena’s survival in Serie A last season by scoring seven goals (all in Serie A) and assisting four more. One of Cesena’s finest moments came in second match of the season when they upset eventual champions AC Milan 2-0. Giaccherini scored his team’s second goal with a neatly taken shot from edge of the box in the 44th minute. His other notable performances were a goal against Inter in a 3-2 loss in January and an excellent second half brace against Sampdoria in a relegation “six pointer”. He also gained infamy for his incredible double miss against Juventus when he failed to score, with an open net gaping at him.
It is difficult to understand how Giaccherini will improve the current Juventus squad. Antonio Conte, reportedly, prefers a winger who can cut back from the wings, rather than launch crosses from the touchline. While Giaccherini fits the bill in terms of playing style, he is hardly a world beater in his position. Last season, he delivered 3.67 crosses per game with an accuracy of 15% – hardly impressive for a winger. He also made 1.46 key passes per game, though very few of his passes were successfully converted by fellow strikers. However, his pass completion rate of 81.36% is certainly worth noting.
Next Camoranesi or next Jorge Martinez?
In terms of quality, Giaccherini is hardly an upgrade over Simone Pepe – the man who is likely to challenge him for a place on the left wing. What Juventus needed was a world class left winger in the mold of Juan Manual Vargas or Michel Bastos. The likes of Elia and Ibrahim Affelay had also been linked with the club in last few weeks. The Old Lady needed a considerable upgrade on the left wing to complement the right wing pairing of Krasic-Lichtsteiner perfectly. A quality left winger was also necessary, since neither of the left backs – Paolo De Ceglie or Reto Zeigler possesses the consistency of Stefan Lichtsteiner. With Cristian Pasquato showing good form in pre-season, ideal situation would have been to bring in someone like Vargas with Pasquato and Pepe slotting in as reserve winger. With Giaccherini, Juventus have bought essentially more of the same that already existed for a position, which desperately needed an upgrade.
At this point of time, the acquisition of Emanuele Giaccherini seems like a bad transfer deal on paper. This move can backfire on Giuseppe Marotta the same way Jorge Martinez’s big money move from Catania backfired last season. Martinez was very impressive for Gli Elefanti in 2009-10 season, but failed to live up to his hype miserably. Few days back Giuseppe Marotta had promised to bring in two, at most three, new players. With Giaccherini taking up one slot and a defender taking up one more slot, Marotta’s needs to invest on a top class left winger in order to make Juve strong enough for a top-3 finish. Giaccherini’s transfer will make much more sense if Simone Pepe is shipped off to Russia (as recent rumours suggest) and a player like Vargas is roped in to be first choice left-winger. However, if Giaccherini and Pepe remain as two main options on left-wing, then this area might come back to haunt the Old Lady later. Most recent rumours suggest that Paraguayan winger Marcelo Estigarribia is heading to Turin. The on loan Newell’s Old Boys player was impressive in Copa America.
Emanuele Giaccherini’s arrival may rub some of the sheen off an otherwise encouraging transfer campaign. However, it will be unfair to completely rule out the new player without him playing for Juventus. Even Mauro Camoranesi arrived from relegated Hellas Verona, but went on to become a modern day legend in Turin. Time will tell whether Giaccherini goes the Martinez way or emulates Camoranesi – Juventus fans worldwide will be praying it’s the latter.
Click here to read complete profile of Giaccherini.