Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri addresses row with Leandro Paredes & compares Dusan Vlahovic with Cristiano Ronaldo amid striker's poor form
- Paredes and Allegri had argument over game time
- Allegri "glad" about the midfielder's reaction
- Claimed Vlahovic criticism mirrors Ronaldo's
WHAT HAPPENED? It emerged on Tuesday that the Argentina international returned from Monday's session visibly irate, and later got into a heated argument with his manager over a supposed lack of game time. Despite Paredes reportedly refusing to train after lunch - putting his future at Juve in serious doubt - Allegri played down hostilities during Wednesday's press conference.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "On Easter Monday we also ate well. We had a chat with him," the Italian tactician told reporters. "I understand that a player who plays less is a bit nervous. The important thing is that everyone is concentrated. When I make choices, even if I'm wrong, I do them according to the team. I'm glad he had this reaction because it means he wants to do well in the last two months."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While the Argentine has fallen down the midfielder pecking order, one player who has cemented his place in the starting line-up is Dusan Vlahovic - despite a relatively underwhelming campaign. The 23-year-old has started all but two of Juve's matches since the turn of the year but has amassed just 10 goals all season. This has naturally led to criticisms from some quarters, although Allegri was quick to point out that Vlahovic isn't the only new forward signing to come under scrutiny upon joining Juve.
"There was criticism for Cristiano [Ronaldo] when he arrived," Allegri explained. "He will find the goal again, he is 22 years old and has also improved technically. Throughout your career there are moments when things go less well for you. You must remain serene. Rabiot last year someone didn't even want to see him on the pitch anymore, if I'm not mistaken. Dusan has very specific characteristics and it's not like he's any less strong now than when he arrived."
AND WHAT'S MORE: Having played little over half-an-hour of football since returning to Juve, there was still no concrete progress on Paul Pogba's injury situation ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash against Sporting CP. Allegri added: "[Pogba] is called up and if we were to have him in the best conditions at the end of the season it would be important."
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WHAT NEXT FOR JUVE? Sporting await in a crunch European quarter-final first leg tie on Thursday, before a trip to Sassuolo comes next for Juve in Serie A on Sunday.