Juventus' 2021 was pretty horrific by their usual standards of the last decade.
First, they relinquished the Serie A title to Inter, and this was followed by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United and a terrible start to the 2021/22 domestic campaign.
Although they have done well in the Champions League, Juve go into the New Year fifth in Serie A, a seemingly insurmountable 12 points behind leaders and champions Inter.
Improvement is needed in 2022 and it all starts with the January transfer window. Here is what Juventus should be looking to do this month...
1. Sign a top quality striker
One of Juventus' biggest issue this season has been finishing chances. During the first half of the Serie A campaign, they underperformed their xG - something that just is not sustainable if you want to challenge for titles.
While improvement is needed all over the pitch, it is up front where the issues are most striking. Seven goals in 23 games from Alvaro Morata has not been good enough, even if he does provide plenty of other advantages.
The most obvious solution to Juve's goal-shyness would be bringing in the irrepressible Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina. The Serbian has 16 Serie A strikes this season - more than any other player - and although there is plenty of interest from elsewhere, the Old Lady should be pulling out all the stops to secure his signature.
2. Get rid of the deadwood
Juventus have one of the biggest piles of deadwood in European football, particularly in midifield.
Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Arthur Melo have all massively underwhelmed since arriving at the club, while Weston McKennie and Federico Bernardeschi also need to improve quickly.
Finding a buyer for the former trio will be tricky due to their bloated wages. However, we're sure a naive Premier League club can be tempted to take a punt and help Juve recoup some of their investment.
3. Bring in a ball-playing midfielder
Although finishing their opportunities has proved challenging for Juventus, they have also struggled to carve out chances at times.
Out of their midfielders who have featured regularly this season, Rodrigo Bentancur has been the most creative, averaging 2.91 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.
Those figures are only good enough to put him 70th in Serie A.
Although Paulo Dybala has picked up some of the slack, averaging the sixth most SCA in the league, he needs help from further behind him. This makes identifying and then signing a creator in the mold of Lorenzo Pellegrini, Hakan Calhanoglu or Nicolo Barella vitally important for Juve.
4. Recruit some full-back cover
Juventus' current full-back crop is by no means weak with both Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado enjoying pretty impressive starts to the seasons.
The issue is that outside of this trusted pair, Juve are pretty thin on the ground. Luca Pellegrini has been solid when called upon but lacks experience, whereas Danilo has struggled with injuries.
If the right player becomes available, Max Allegri would be wise to bring in an extra full-back to preemptively deal with any injuries to his first-choice wide defenders.
Having an extra option would also allow Cuadrado - who is now 33 - to be rotated more frequently, saving him for the games that really matter in Europe.
For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!