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Weston McKennie remains “very important player” in Juventus squad

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Weston McKennie has been linked with an exit from Serie A side Juventus for most of 2022, but with a new season right around the corner, the American midfielder looks set to remain in Massimiliano Allegri’s squad.

McKennie is currently with Juventus as the Italian club continues its preseason preparations in Italy ahead of a trio of friendly matches in the United States to close out the month of July. The U.S. men’s national team star has continued his rapid rise at club level over the past two seasons with Juventus, winning both the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup trophies.

Despite interest from English Premier League side Tottenham, McKennie remains a key player in Allegri’s squad and the Italian manager acknowledged how important the USMNT midfielder is in his roster.

“As for McKennie, he is a Juventus player that is very important,” Allegri said about McKennie at a press conference with reporters Tuesday. “Unfortunately, last year he missed games due to an injury he suffered in the Champions League but he will travel with us to the U.S. tour. McKennie will have the opportunity to play a great season at Juventus this year.”

McKennie has totaled 75 combined appearances for the Old Lady, scoring 10 goals and registering three assists since his arrival in 2020. Not only has the 23-year-old continued to impress at club level, but his performances have carried over to the USMNT, where he’s earned 34 caps and scored nine goals to date.

Juventus has surprisingly not won the Serie A titles in either of McKennie’s first two seasons in Turin, but remains one of the favorites to contend for the trophy this year. In addition to aiming to domestic dominance, Juventus will also return to the UEFA Champions League group stage this September with huge aspirations to advance far in the European competition.

McKennie’s work ethic and creativity has helped him become one of the rising midfielders in Europe, and with Juventus needing new leaders to rely on this season, the American might play a larger role in 2022-23 than in each of his prior two campaigns.

Comments

  1. Twomilerule,

    “Wes’s best attribute is he shows up to play everyday!”

    His worst attribute is he doesn’t always show up. He’s inconsistent.

    Reply
  2. With Pogba and DiMaria coming in and Chiesa coming back, Wes’ role could shrink. Allegri says nice things about him, but we’ll see how much Wes plays when the real games start..

    Reply
      • Maybe, maybe not. But at a minimum, the midfield is a lot more crowded than it was last year.

        Pogba, DiMaria and Chiesa, along with Vlahovic, will be lock starters in the front 5 or 6. Which will increase competition for the 1 or 2 starting spots that are still possibly up for grabs. McKennie will be battling with Locatelli, Rabiot, Arthur, Cuadrado and who knows who else for one of those spots.

        I agree that Weston does some things that other players don’t do, or he does them better. But you have to look at it both ways; other players maybe do things better than Wes, or different than Wes. And Allegri may prefer those other players.

      • J99,

        None of the guys you mentioned can win the ball , do the box to box thing and can score like Weston.

        That makes him the closest thing they have to Arturo Vidal 2.0

        If he keeps doing those things, especially score more frequently, then he has a great chance to play regularly.

        Cliche warning, if Weston brings his best self to every practice and every game he’ll be a regular. It’s called being consistent.

        If he doesn’t he won’t.

        Fortunately that same cliche applies to his competition. There’s a reason Pogba and Di Maria were available to Juve. And there’s a reason Rabiot, and Arthur have yet to lock down a spot at Juve. Cuadrado is 34 and more of a wide player than Weston.

        Locatelli is the most credible threat to Weston’s PT but, as you say, Locatelli represents a different style of play.

    • McKennie plays more central midfield and most the players you mention play wide.
      Wes’s best attribute is he shows up to play everyday!

      Reply
      • Pogba, Arthur, Locatelli and Rabiot are all central midfielders. And when I watched Juve last year, McKennie was at times a left sided midfielder, although not an out and out winger.

        I guess my only point here is that, with the new signings, there’s going to be more competition for minutes this year than there was last year. And although the article argues that McKennie is poised to play a bigger role this year, I think it’s just as likely that his role diminishes.

      • Twomilerule,

        “Wes’s best attribute is he shows up to play everyday!”

        His worst attribute is he doesn’t always show up. He’s inconsistent.

    • Di Maria is a winger, plays exclusively out wide, so McKennie has nothing to worry about there. Weston has been slept on every season, folks saying his minutes will shrink or that he doessn’t fit into the teams plans, but year after year he shows his detractors that he’s the real deal ad will only get better!

      Reply
      • I honestly hope you’re right, because Wes is a great player. But I think you may be a little optimistic here. I see a Champion’s League team that’s underperformed in the two years that Wes has been there, and they’ve now brought in a couple of “galacticos” who’s roles may overlap somewhat with Wes’ role, but in any event create something of a logjam in the midfield. And the coach who was there when McKennie was brought in is no longer there, and the current coach has always seemed lukewarm on him.

        We’ll see.

      • In a way Wes is the present day equivalent of Clint Dempsey. People may have forgotten, but it seemed like every time Fulham had a new coach/manager, Clint would start on the bench. In each case, after about 10 games Clint would have pushed his way into the starting lineup. One of my favorite moments of watching US players abroad happened in a situation like that. Early in the season the coach took Clint out of the game and the home crowd began chanting, “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
        I have never seen anything like that before or since. Now, of course, Juventus is a much better team than Fulham was, but the players are similar. Wes is a fighter who brings such tenacity and effort that he can’t be ignored. He will land on his feet somewhere.

      • Gary Page,

        Comparing Clint to Weston is not the best comparison.

        Throw out his first half season at Fulham and you’ll find that in the next 5 seasons there and his last season at Spurs, Clint averaged 12 goals and 42 appearances a season.
        Clint’s job was to score and he did that well. On a team like Fulham his scoring consistency was measurable and invaluable . He had the intangibles but he also had the tangibles.

        Weston, a genuine tough guy, has a job that is/was not so well defined and is open to interpretation.

        “Wes is a fighter who brings such tenacity and effort that he can’t be ignored.”

        We don’t really know what the rest of the guys on Juve’s roster are like but I’m pretty sure that you need more than being “a fighter” and tenacity and effort to beat them out. Clint could point to his goals. Weston doesn’t have such a handy measurable.

        “He will land on his feet somewhere.”

        That implies that you think Weston may not be at Juve.

    • Big names- my guess is yeah- you are likely right- they’ve new toys they’ll want to use= wi’ll probably try other combos with flashier profiles, and … then eventually come back to it all works better- they are a tougher team to beat when McKennie is in the lineup… he’ll be a mainstay by mid-season.

      Reply

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