With a host of Juventus youth products invading the pitch, the encounter between Frosinone and the Bianconeri could have been nicknamed the “Matteo Tognozzi Derby”.
The former Juventus Chief Scout has recently departed Italy, but his splendid work in Turin was celebrated at the Stadio Benito Stripe with five talents of his exported talents on the pitch, four as starters.
Nevertheless, it was Kenan Yildiz who emerged as the ultimate attraction in Saturday’s early kickoff.
The teenager only needed 12 minutes on his full debut to confirm what most of us already knew. Simply put, the Turkish striker is something else.
The 18-year-old somehow found his way through three opposition players (including Enzo Barrenechea) with one fell swoop before beating Stefano Turati at his near post.
The former Bayern Munich star simply oozed class, making sure that Federico Chiesa was hardly missed, at least for as long as he lasted on the pitch.
Yildiz also worked extremely hard for the team, tracking back to make vital interceptions at times. One might argue that he overdid it, getting himself exhausted by the start of the second half. Perhaps this is the only reason that could justify his exit in the 54th minute, as it surely wasn’t for the lack of quality or effort.
Nevertheless, his substitute, a certain Dusan Vlahovic, eventually restored the Old Lady’s lead, saving Max Allegri the blushes.
All in all, Yildiz is now a reality at Juventus. So let’s hope that this is only the beginning of something special for the player and the club alike.
While we all appreciate Filip Kostic for his sublime crosses and hard-working ethics, he will have to deliver more convincing displays to justify his place in the line-up.
The Serbian did well to regain possession and provide Yildiz with the assist, but that proved the end of his fruitful contribution.
The winger squandered two inviting opportunities as insisted on taking the shots in his preferred left foot rather than trusting his weaker right. Moreover, he completely lost track of Jaime Baez who slipped past him to poach the equalizer for Frosinone.
With Andrea Cambiaso, Timothy Weah, Samuel Iling-Junior and Weston McKennie all capable of playing at wingback, Kostic must prove his worth to ward off the growing competition for starting berths.
The Unsung Hero
Thankfully for Juventus, Vlahaovic saved the day with a clinical header worth three points.
However, we must show some love for McKennie who has surprisingly been one of the club’s most consistent performers this season while offering valuable contributions in the middle of the park and on the right flank.
The American almost snatched the winner himself with an astonishing volley that crashed against the crossbar. But in the end, he provided the assist for Vlahovic with a brilliant inswinger, rounding off another impressive shift.
It’s hard to believe that this is the same player that Juventus were keen on getting rid of exactly a year ago.