Locatelli McKennie
Club News

Opinion: At last, there’s a glimmer of hope for Juve’s midfield

January 20, 2022 - 7:15 pm

Despite the arrival of Manuel Locatelli, Juve’s midfield remains the club’s Achilles Heel.

Now surely the signing of the Euro 2020 winner proved to be the right move for the club’s present and future. After all, the Italian has quickly established himself as the main man in the middle of the park.

However, an empty gap remained unfilled. Or perhaps two, because we all know that Max Allegri prefers to play with three in the middle.

Therefore, the tactician has been forced to shuffle and try his luck by fielding all sort of lineups both in terms of tactical formations and personnel.

While the team paid the price in terms of results, things are gradually looking up, mainly because internal solutions are being found.

The first hole was filled thanks to the emergence of a new and improved version of Weston McKennie.

The American spent the majority of 2021 looking like a lost individual both on and off the pitch. But thankfully, he managed to find his best feet again, putting on some hardworking shifts while occasionally contributing in scoring.

But the major gap that haunted Allegri’s tactical scheming remained the Regista role.

Although Locatelli didn’t disgrace himself in this spot, it was obvious to see that his deep positioning is preventing him from displaying his full potential.

The former Sassuolo man has all what it takes to be one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world.

He’s willing to fight for every ball, he can make dangerous runs deep into the opposition’s area, and most importantly, he has the required creativity to deliver goals and provide assists.

Therefore, Arthur Melo has always been the key to unlock the Italian’s prowess. The Brazilian’s second half introduction against Roma allowed Locatelli to make the damage upfront.

We witnessed a similar scenario on Tuesday against Sampdoria, as the former Barcelona man was in charge of controlling the tempo, while the Italian put on a masterclass of a performance in a more advanced position.

However, the real test will come this weekend in the form of an away trip to Milan.

But for Allegri, the writing is on the wall.

A midfield composed of Locatelli, Arthur and McKennie might be far from world class, and yet, this trio provides a slight glimmer of hope for the the Old Lady’s most desperate department.

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  • Avatar
    Mikkel January 20, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    Sell Sandro, Kean, Bernadeschi, Bentancur, Ramsey and Rabiot. Buy Frenkie De Jong and Vlahovic. Keep Dybala.

  • Avatar
    BianconeriJack January 21, 2022 at 1:18 am

    The problem for Allegri is that right now Locatelli is our best #6 & our best #8 which is the position he thrives in and I’m sure that’s where Max wants to play him full time. We need to sign a quality regista to anchor the midfield which will allow Locatelli to be the high-class box-to-box midfielder we all know he is. McKennie has really stepped up recently and along with Locatelli are the only two midfielders I would guarantee for next season. Ramsey & Rabiot have to go asap for obvious reasons; Arthur is good on the ball but he isn’t strong enough and we need a different profile as regista, Franck Kessie is the type of player we need as our #6. Bentancur frustrates me because he can be as good as he wants to be, but games often pass him by and maybe a move will benefit all parties. Our midfield is very weak and has been for a long time; we need more power and dynamism in the engine room if we are to challenge Inter for the Scudetto next season.

  • Avatar
    Phoenix Juve January 21, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    I completely agree with the statement above. Wes and Locatelli are our best midfielders by far. We need a Frank Kessie or Dennis Zacharia to anchor the midfielders. Not only would they help them they would allow our strikers to make forward runs and actually receive the ball in positions were they can be dangerous to the opposition.