Calcio Debate: Is It Time For David Trezeguet To Leave Juventus?

Should the fading star do what's best for the club and move on? Or do Juve owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of goal hungry fidelity?’s Gil Gillespie gets on board the Trez train...

The striker they call 'Trezegol' has not always had an entirely easy relationship with the club he has called home for the entire duration of the millennium.

Despite playing for the Bianconeri for the best part of a decade, the French hitman has never really been adored on the same level as his countryman Michel Platini. And some would even argue that he has never really been truly accepted by the club itself.

This would be understandable if he was an average sort of centre-forward with an ordinary sort of strike ratio. But David Trezeguet has scored 131 goals in 226 appearances for Juventus, and is the leading foreign goalscorer in the history of the club.

Whilst no-one can doubt his record, there are many who have questioned his overall contribution on the pitch - and this is why Trezeguet is respected but still essentially unloved at the club.

In game after game, for season after season, the French goal-poacher has spent most of his time on the field of play loitering somewhere near the 18-yard box, invisible and statuesque.

Trezeguet’s team play is non-existent, his movement off the ball reminiscent of a schoolboy with his hands in his pockets. There are rumours that he still hasn’t completed a pass to one of his team-mates.  

So how has he managed to notch up such an impressive goals tally? Well, luckily, Trezeguet has always had a certain Alessandro Del Piero at his side to provide the bullets for his gun. And the role of the former Italy legend in the Frenchman's goal collection cannot be over-stated. Despite his injuries and his occasional dips in confidence, there has not been a better support striker in the game than Del Piero. How many times in the last ten years has 'Trezegol' found himself on the end of an inch-perfect ball from his team-mate with only the ‘keeper to beat? Probably around 100 of his 131 goals have come this way.

But like so many great goalscorers before him, Trezeguet's abilities in and around the opposition penalty area should not be underestimated either.

His anticipation in the box is quite simply remarkable and this, coupled with his lightning sharp pace off the mark, means he is usually the first to pounce on the ball. More importantly, he also has a remarkable knack of slamming it into the back of the net, and has done so with the sort of consistency that an assassin would be proud of. Right-foot, left-foot, it doesn't matter to Trezeguet, he is a striker who doesn't get many chances but rarely misses the ones that do come his way.

However, all good things come to an end and the 31-year-old has been tipped to leave the Old Lady this summer after a disappointing season last term, when he fell out of favour with then-coach Claudio Ranieri.

A €10 million price tag and his €4.5m-a-year wages seem to have frightened potential suitors away, and last month he resumed training with the rest of the Juventus squad, under the guidance of new coach Ciro Ferrara.

“He has realised that the team can start a new winning cycle. He’s happy to remain at Juventus," his agent, Antonio Caliendo, revealed recently.

But, with Del Piero, Diego, Amauri, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Sebastian Giovinco ahead of him in Ferrara's new 4-2-3-1 line-up, opportunities for the ageing hitman are likely to be few and far between.

He could, of course, still prove to be a highly useful impact player to bring on as a substitute if things aren't going Juve's way. But he is unlikely to play anything more than a cameo role, which, at €4.5m-a-season, is a very expensive luxury. Surely it makes sense for the Bianconeri to sell Trezeguet and use the considerable amount of cash they will earn to bring in Fabio Grosso from Lyon or Fabiano Santacroce from Napoli? 

If he thinks with a footballing head rather than a financial one, Trezeguet himself may agree that he would be better off moving elsewhere and taking on a new challenge.

Manchester City were thought to be interested, until they completed the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor. Surely the Eastlands club won’t sign another forward - nine strikers is enough, even for a club that appears to be collecting them like decorative plates.

Assuming he fancies testing himself in England, surely there are other Premier League clubs who would be interested in acquiring his services? Maybe his close friend Thierry Henry could have a word with his old boss Arsene Wenger? After all, someone has to fill the void left by the departure of Arsenal's giant Togolese centre-forward.

If Arsenal aren’t keen then maybe Manchester United or Fulham or Sunderland or Portsmouth are possible destinations.

But if no Premier League clubs come forward, the options may be limited, with the possibility of Trezeguet returning to France now looking slight. Lyon have found a replacement for Karim Benzema, shelling out €24 million for Argentine hitman Lisandro Lopez. Meanwhile, Olympique de Marseille have also dropped their interest in Trezeguet. 

This could leave the great goal poacher with nothing to do except sit on the Juventus bench, twiddling his thumbs. Surely this is not a satisfactory situation for the player or for Juve president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli.

But in a climate that has seen Milan cash in on their most precious asset, maybe Juventus have an obligation to one of their most loyal servants - maybe they should do the right thing and allow Trezeguet himself to decide whether he wants to leave the club or not.

He was, after all, one of the select band of players who didn’t desert the sinking ship when the Old Lady were relegated to Serie B in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal. 

And what’s more, he’s been in terrific form in pre-season so far. Who knows, maybe he hasn’t finished scoring goals in his adopted country just yet.

Gil Gillespie,