Juventus forward Paulo Dybala has warned new team-mate Gonzalo Higuain that he will not find it easy to seize a spot in the starting line-up.
The Serie A champions spent a club record €90million to sign Higuain from title rivals Napoli, following a remarkable 2015-16 season in which he scored 38 goals in 42 appearances.
But Dybala says his compatriot’s price tag is no guarantee of a place in Massimiliano Allegri’s first team, such is the strength in depth of the squad.
“We hope he can help us score many goals and that he can help us in the league,” Dybala told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’ll certainly be difficult at Juventus because there’s so much competition. Mario [Mandzukic] is already doing well.”
Higuain was the marquee signing in a stellar transfer window for Juve so far, in which Allegri has set about constructing a side capable of challenging for the Champions League.
Miralem Pjanic, Marko Pjaca, Dani Alves and Medhi Benatia have been brought in to bolster the all-round quality at Juve’s disposal and offset the departure of Paul Pogba, who has joined Manchester United for a reported world-record fee of close to £93m.
Dybala says the new arrivals have boosted the confidence within the squad, but concedes that expectations are now sky-high in Turin.
“We have more confidence, but also very strong players that offer many important skills and this will be a formidable strength for us,” he said. “We know we’re one of the strongest squads around and we can play even better than last year.
“The danger is there, also last year everyone said if we didn’t win it would be a failure because everyone waited for that fifth Scudetto in a row. This year we want the sixth to set the new record.
“We’re Juventus, if we don’t have a great season it’ll be a failure. The only thing that counts here is victory, but we’re ready – we’ll fight for every trophy.”