SAN FRANCISCO – Last season, when Juventus won a second consecutive Scudetto, penalty-taker Arturo Vidal led the team in scoring. The Old Lady made improving the forward line a priority this summer, signing Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente.
The pair featured together from the start in the Guinness International Champions Cup match against Everton on Wednesday night. Neither scored in the 1-1 draw, with the Toffees edging Juve in penalties 6-5.
Tevez did blast a shot into the side netting, and Juve coach Antonio Conte saw enough to please him after the first 90-minute match of his team's preseason.
“I think that [Tevez and Llorente] are working well together and working very hard together, just as the whole team is doing,” Conte said in translated Italian. “The legs were a little bit tired. We're working on that and getting back into the rhythm of things. But overall this evening I enjoyed the attitude of these two players and this couple playing together.”
Juventus did its transfer business early this summer. Llorente signed on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao months prior to the July window opening. Tevez joined on a discounted 10 million pounds plus bonuses, according to reports in England, from Manchester City. The Old Lady also lured Angelo Ogbonna away from city rival Torino.
Is Conte expecting more new arrivals?
“That's not exactly a question I'm qualified to answer,” the Italian coach said. “That should be directed toward people who are in charge of signing players. However, we do have some new arrivals and overall it's making for a much more competitive environment in the squad. Two highly competent forwards came in, also Ogbonna in defense. Overall the level of the players coming in has increased the competitiveness of the team.”
This season Juventus will chase a third consecutive Scudetti, something it hasn't achieved since a string of five beginning in 1931.
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