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'McKennie gives Juventus options other midfielders don't' - Allegri talks up USMNT star

17:32 SAST 2022/02/21
Weston McKennie Juventus
The Bianconeri boss is a big fan of the American star who could have a crucial role to play in Serie A and the Champions League

Weston McKennie offers qualities to Juventus that "other midfielders don’t" says Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri, with the United States international set to play a prominent role for the Italian giants in domestic and European competition.

The 23-year-old has made 27 appearances across all competitions this season, scoring four goals

He has set lofty individual targets and is starting to see his value to the cause recognised in his third season in Turin.

What has been said?

Allegri told reporters ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter with Villarreal: “Weston McKennie is an attacking midfielder, who gives options that the other midfielders don’t give us.

“Paulo Dybala’s absence is a loss because he’s been playing well, so Alvaro Morata and Dusan Vlahovic will start in attack.

“Leonardo Bonucci completed his first training session with the team. He didn’t feel any pain. To have him available for tomorrow is already a bonus should we need him.

“Arthur is coming along well but I have some doubts over who will play in midfield.”

The bigger picture

While McKennie is now an experienced operator in continental football, Juve are preparing to hand one big-money addition a Champions League bow. Serbian striker Vlahovic was acquired for €75 million (£62m/$85m) from Fiorentina during the January transfer window.

Allegri added on his highly-rated new frontman: “Tomorrow evening Vlahovic will make his debut in the Champions League. He'll need the support of the team and will need to be protected.

“He’s only 22 years old and tomorrow is a new experience for him. It’ll be a different story once he’s played 60 or 70 games in the Champions League.”

The Juve boss added on the targets being set by his side: “Our ambition is to win the Champions League, just like it is in the Italian Cup. Our aim is to go as far as possible, as is natural in every competition.

“We need to get a result tomorrow evening and think about completing the job in three weeks when we host them here for the return leg.”

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