At the venerable age of 38, the Czech lion Pavel Nedved has finally decided to hang up the boots for good. For months there has been a flurry of speculation surrounding the former Ballon d'Or's successor. Many touted Diego Ribas da Cunha (or just plain Diego) as the one to fill the shaggy-haired dynamo's boots, but the jury is still out on his ability to fit into Claudio Ranieri's solid 4-4-2 system. As Ranieri himself stated, in order to include Diego into his squad, he would have to change his preferred formation to accomodate the fantasista.
In my opinion, while Diego is not a player I would be unwilling to welcome to the Bianconeri fold, he doesn't necessarily fit the job description needed. While Nedved is not an old-fashioned winger in his own right, he is not the type of player to ignore tactical instructions in order to play in his own style. While Diego has shown tactical discipline in the past, I don't feel he has the mindset to play on the wing in Ranieri's 4-4-2. If Ranieri is to be manager of Juve, I feel he should play the formation he prefers, and not be forced to incorporate an ill-fitting puzzle piece. As such, I don't feel Diego is the man for the job.
In my opinion, the solution for the impending vacancy plies his trade in Spain for Valencia. Spanish international David Silva is a player very much suited for Juventus' style of play, and he absolutely has the required talent level. Like Nedved, Silva is equally comfortable operating through the centre of attacking midfield or out on the left wing. In addition, Silva can be used as a second striker or on the right wing. With Valencia's current economic troubles, he is an increasingly viable option for La Vecchia Signora. While French international Franck Ribery would be another excellent choice, his high price tag, and the interest of financial powerhouses like Manchester United, Inter Milan and Barcelona make him more of a reach.
The race to sign Nedved's replacement is nearing it's end, and as a staunch Juve supporter, I pray that the club doesn't veer off track and sign a sure flop such as Middlesborough's Stewart Downing, Florent Malouda or another who lacks the required quality.