Here we are… another fresh rumour from Italy’s CalcioMercato has landed, and it contains the information that Juventus are interested in Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi as well as Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud as they plot for the potential loss of Mario Mandzukic.
In their somewhat unorthodox style, CalcioMercato have dropped a very short (39 words, to be precise) update on Juve’s striking desires. Despite having made Gonzalo Higuain the fourth most expensive footballer on the planet over the summer and being in possession of Paulo Dybala, the Old Lady are concerned about losing Mandzukic.
The Italian outlet – citing unnamed reports from England (potentially this one) – claim that Premier League sides are tracking the Croatian, who, to be fair to him, is likely a coveted player given his experience in the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A. Should the 30-year-old move on, the Turin giants are keen to draft in a replacement, and a three-man list including Giroud, Origi and Sturridge has been drawn up.
Of the three, Giroud appears to make the most sense as a player Juventus would be tracking. For starters, his style of play is not dissimilar to Mandzukic’s, with both physically imposing and technically adept.
Sort of new age old school centre-forwards, if you will. Further to this, the Frenchman has not been widely used by Arsene Wenger in league action so far this season, with all three of his Premier League appearances (totalling 51 minutes) having been from the bench.
In terms of the Liverpool pair, neither are really like-for-like replacements for Mandzukic.
That’s not to say they should be – indeed, Juve may be looking to head in a different direction – but it’s hard to see either heading to Italy. Sturridge, for example, is in the prime of his career and fully settled in England – English players rarely move abroad, too – while Origi is very much at the start of his senior footballing journey and is clearly appreciated by Jurgen Klopp.
As the stats (via Squawka) show, Giroud is the best all-round option.
Granted the numbers are from last season and the Frenchman heavily outplayed his rivals in terms of minutes and appearances, yet his per-outing return for assists, key passes and aerial prowess stand out, while 0.42 goals-per-game is not to be sniffed at.