Massimiliano Allegri confirmed a major blow on Sunday with the news that Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie will be sidelined for the rest of the season, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
Allegri said: “The season is over for Weston because of his injury,” Allegri said. “He’ll be back next season.”
The American has been pivotal for Juventus, who need to figure out the midfield once again.
Juventus Midfielder Weston McKennie Out for the Season
Midfield has been somewhat of an issue since Juventus’ “MVP” midfield of the past (Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba). Juventus attempted to address the midfield problem in January.
The current options for the club are now Manuel Locatelli, Arthur, Denis Zakaria, and Adrien Rabiot. This is a solid bench, although disappointing at times. Zakaria arrived a little over a month ago so he’s still adjusting, but he can be expected to have a bigger role after McKennie’s injury.
Allegri typically throws out a 4-4-2 formation. This calls for two central midfielders and two wide midfielders. Considering Juventus have four midfielders, this gives them some depth. In the last game versus Spezia, however, three of these midfielders were used as Rabiot started in the right midfielder position. This isn’t an issue for the future. Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro will typically take the wide positions.
From the outside looking in, Locatelli seems to be Juventus’ top option. Any of the other three midfielders can start beside him. Maybe Allegri even changes up formations after the arrival of Dusan Vlahovic. This gives him more choices in the attack.
Juventus sit fourth in the Serie A table. They’re currently seven points behind first-place AC Milan. The club are also six points ahead of fifth-place Atalanta, although Atalanta holds a game in hand. Clearly, the top-four race in Italy is nowhere near finished.
Juve are also still alive in the Champions League as well. The first leg of the Round of 16 was a draw with Villareal. McKennie’s absence, of course, remains a major factor looking forward.
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