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Friday January 29 2021
Magic McKennie

Weston McKennie is proving to be crucial to Juventus’ midfield and Elio Salerno believes he’s worth every penny the Old Lady will spend to make his loan move permanent.

As Weston McKennie headed home Juve’s match winner during their weekend encounter with Bologna, the American dashed off towards the side-line and proceeded to wave an imaginary wand in celebration towards the camera.

The Texan would later reveal himself to be a huge Harry Potter fan, the inspiration behind his celebration and lighting bolt tattoo on his finger.

McKennie’s wizardry in Bologna’s box will have come as no surprise to Juventini, who have quickly fallen under Weston’s spell following his summer arrival from Schalke.

The midfield player has brought joy and enthusiasm to The Old Lady. His infectious personality and energetic displays have established him not only as a fans favourite, but also as a pivotal part of Andrea Pirlo’s plans.

So far this season, the former FC Dallas player has provided two assists and found the net on four occasions, with his goal contributions coming at key moments.

McKennie’s first was an equaliser in the Turin derby with his team behind, that was followed by an acrobatic volley in Camp Nou against Barcelona, he then got Juve’s crucial third goal in the San Siro against Milan before adding Sunday’s header to his growing collection.  

McKennie’s influence extends beyond his ability to support the attack with expertly timed runs into the oppositions 18-yard-box. He sets the teams momentum and keeps his foot on the gas, allowing Juve to stay on top of the game. 

The 22-year-old is dynamic, physically capable of running intensely throughout 90 minutes and his aggressive approach makes him a menace when attempting to recover possession. McKennie’s versatility means he is a constant thorn in the side of the opposition.

Having spent three-years developing his trade in the Bundesliga, McKennie became the ideal recruit for a new look Juve under the guidance of Pirlo. ‘Il Maestro’s’ system requires adaptable players that can maintain a high tempo approach both in and out of possession.

The German top division is king of the European leagues with regards to pressing and transitions, equipping Mckennie for the demands of modern football at an elite club.

Mister Pirlo has found the ideal positon in his midfield the for ex-Schalke star. Deploying McKennie in a hybrid capacity where he adjusts between a defensive role in wide areas to an attacking number 10 when the Bianconeri have possession.

It is a tough task, but Weston has shown he is more than capable. His influence on the team is noticeable and that is magnified when McKennie is missing, the team is less functional without him.

He undoubtedly has areas to improve, namely with his passing but with a purchase option of €18.5million, McKennie is shaping up to be a fantastic piece of business for Juventus.

“McKennie is young and has so much room for improvement. We were the quickest one to sign him and we are happy he is part of the squad,” Pirlo said ahead of the Old Lady’s trip to Sampdoria where a win of the Bianconeri might be worth a bet online.

“He is a humble guy who always wants to improve, especially on a technical level. He needs to improve when he receives the ball, but he knows this is only a starting point,” the Bianconeri coach continued.

Mckennie is forming an intriguing partnership alongside Rodrigo Bentancur and another of the Italian champions new signings, Arthur.

The South-American duo have had indifferent campaigns thus far but the blend of all three players together has shown signs of promise. The lack of quality in the Bianconeri’s midfield department in recent years has been well documented, so any improvement in that area will give the Turin giants a lift.

If McKennie is Juve’s action man in the middle, Arthur – who is beginning to settle into his new environment – is the craftsman.

The Brazilian’s job is to control the speed of play through short accurate passes, manoeuvring the opposition as his team mates search to exploit the spaces available. Playing in a double pivot, Arthur works in rotation with Bentancur.

The Uruguayan provides balance and has the characterises to supply quality in possession but is also competitive without it, perhaps overly at times.

None of the aforementioned trio are individually amongst the best around. However, as a unit they complement each other, making La Vecchia Signora less predictable and harder to beat.

Especially with the positive effect McKennie has had in attacking areas. McKennie (22), Bentancur (23) and Arthur (24) form a young core and have plenty of development left in them.

If they can continue to improve as individuals and as a collective, it will be hugely beneficial to Pirlo and his attempts to raise Juve’s level, bringing his playing philosophy to life.

@eliosalerno87

Have your say...
There may be improvements, but the midfield is still not good enough. Aouar looks a good player but is no guarantee in a different league and Pogba would be great if the price was right; but, for me, the more viable options would be Locatelli and De Paul. Both would suit Juve's system well, have bags of quality & Serie A experience, will benefit at being at a big team, & will develop their game further by playing regularly in Europe. I would look to sell Ramsey and Bernadeschi to help fund this.
on the 1st February, 2021 at 10:19am
@ Pinturricho

I like Neves, his technique is good, good passer and has a great long shot on him. My only concerns with him are he likes to sit deep in the midfield and spray passes around which Juve already have Arthur for and Bentancur can also cover that role. He's also quite slow which is one of the areas I think Juve lack, they need some pace and guile in the midfield, none of the options they currently have are likely to beat a man to open up the game and i'm not sure Neves is that man
on the 1st February, 2021 at 9:50am
@LucaC


Absolutely. I don't see why at least Ramsey and, if applicable, Rabiot, cannot be moved on. They're both suited for middle-pedigree clubs (EPL clubs, a dime a dozen).


I personally like Rúben Neves, the one from Wolverhampton Wanderers... He's very assured on the ball, and he's very young and deserves to play alongside and develop into one of our champions. We could ask CR7 to put a decent word in for us in this case.


Rabiot + cash = Neves

Cash = Auoar


#FinoAllaFine
on the 31st January, 2021 at 5:47am
Cont...

As you say Juve need someone like Auoar who has that craft and guile in the final 3rd and has a better chance of going to the absolute highest level in his position. If Juve did get someone like him then having Aouar, Mckennie, Rabiot, Ramsey, Arthur, Bentancur would be overkill especillay as Pirlo often plays with a 2 man central mid. In that case Ramsey and Rabiot can leave
on the 30th January, 2021 at 10:55am
@Pinturicchio

I completely agree, the three mentioned are fine for now but I fear for how good Weston has been so far he doesn't have a really high ceiling for development, he can certainly improve but I'd be surprised if he ever became world class. same with Arthur and Benta. Ramsey was always going to be a risk with his injury record and wages and should be moved on. Rabiot has been in better form recently but i'd be happy to see him go for a decent fee
on the 30th January, 2021 at 10:53am
For the time being, these guys are fine. Because, when you compare Juventus' midfielders from both the recent and distant past, you'd remember we had quality there as well.


We definitely need to splurge for Aouar. At 22, and with his quality, he'll be the fulcrum in both defence and attack at Juventus for next 5+ years at least.


I always liked Golovin, he has an explosive edge to his game, and we haven't had a player nearly as talented as Pavel in years.


#FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve
on the 30th January, 2021 at 9:09am
A whole lot better than Ramsey, that's for sure.
on the 30th January, 2021 at 8:25am
Way better midfield signing than the likes of Ramsey or Rabiot who came for free but command high wages. Weston might even be better than Arthur, though it doesn't say much really.

Anyway, it's baffling to see Juve keep spending like there's no tomorrow. Are they not affected by Covid?
They've spent more than 150 millions in Kulusevski, Chiesa, and Morata (though they haven't paid over 2/3 of that number) yet they still have more fund for youngsters like rovella, ake, scamacca, etc
on the 30th January, 2021 at 3:55am
Weston the Wizard
Fantastic player with him and Author finding his game out MF will become a strength again
on the 29th January, 2021 at 9:01pm
A long awaited Davids 2.0, with fewer red cards. Love him
on the 29th January, 2021 at 4:08pm

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