Why striker dubbed new Aguero could cause Manchester City problems

Palacio, Rojo and Aguero Argentina

Paulo Dybala was once compared to his famous compatriot by Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini and he looks the one to watch when Juventus visit the Etihad.

The departures of Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez were always likely to be keenly felt by Juventus given the pivotal roles played by the trio last term.

But few could have predicted the Bianconeri's disastrous start to the Serie A campaign with Juve picking up just one point from the first nine available.

Many of the problems have been attributed to the form of the club's new arrivals, from a series of ineffective midfield displays from deadline day arrival Hernanes - often played out of position - to Mario Mandzukic's ongoing goal drought in the league, which has now been extended to 11 games.

But in amongst the doom and gloom enveloping the Juventus Stadium at present one new signing, at least, is starting to live up to the billing.

Brought to the club from Palermo for an initial €32 million, Argentine youngster Paulo Dybala is a striker who has drawn comparisons with any number of his high-profile compatriots.

But the one that will be most relevant to Manchester City fans going into their Champions League meeting at the Etihad is Sergio Aguero.

It was Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini who first made the connection, describing the young Argentine as the “new Aguero” in an interview with Corriere dello Sport.

Something of a diminutive figure at 5ft 9in, Dybala boasts the same strength, skill and dribbling abilities that have helped the real Aguero thrive in La Liga and the Premier League.

What he lacked, in the past at least, was the same composure and clinical finishing abilities that have made Aguero such a devastating force.

But a return of 13 goals in 36 games for Palermo last term was enough to convince Juve to gamble on a player previously linked to Arsenal in a marking lacking available big name forwards.

The only problem was that, once signed, it seemed as though manager Massimiliano Allegri was hesitant to gamble on him in finding his feet from the off - something that went against the ethos of a club that happily threw Paul Pogba in at the deep end in Italy.

Against Lazio in the Italian Super Cup and then in their Serie A opener against Udinese, Dybala started on the bench with Allegri preferring alternative options like the misfiring Mandzukic from the start.

But things changed for the Juve after a shock league defeat to the visiting Zebrette, helped perhaps by some outspoken words from the 22-year-old's biggest fan, Zamparini.

“Juve must believe in Dybala,” the Palermo owner told Tuttosport in quotes translated by Football Italia.

He called on Allegri to take a chance on the Argentine, claiming that a Dybala partnership alongside Alvaro Morata would give Juventus the strike force necessary to compete at the top level.

“If you pair Dybala and Morata, you’ll get back to dominating,” he explained

“Those two can destroy any defence, but it’s wrong to harness them with excessive tactical duties.”

Meanwhile, he had the following words of advice for his former Palermo charge:

“Find the right ruthlessness and desire, the way Javier Pastore has done at Paris Saint-Germain.”

In a difficult start to the season then, it's telling that Dybala has taken this advice on board while taking his first team chance with both hands.

A goalscorer in both of his subsequent starts for Juve, the Cordoba-born star is beginning to make good on much of the potential previously shown in glimpses with more confidence and composure in front of goal.

No more was this better demonstrated than with the penalty Dybala scored against Chievo last week – a high pressure spot-kick that helped stop the rot for the Turin giants and prevent them from recording their worst start to a league season since 1912.

It's not just goalscoring that Dybala brings to the team either.

Adept at holding up the ball and bringing others into play, Dybala also has one more ace up his sleeve – he's something of a dead ball specialist.

With three goals in four competitive appearances for the Old Lady, he could yet prove the player to spark their season in to life.

And in the absence of the real Aguero, he might just be the one to take centre stage at the Etihad this week.

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