Who is Weston McKennie and what to expect?
I was as shocked as everyone (except FIFA and Football Manager Players) when the “rumors” of the youngster being linked to Juventus first made rounds. I was disappointed when I heard the news, who can blame me? We have been linked with Pogba, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Houssem Aouar and we end up signing an unknown American. My disappointment soon turned to optimism when I read more about him and watched his YouTube highlights, plus a lot of Schalke stan accounts vouched for him, that counts for something right?
But the real questions are, how does he fit into this team and if he is good enough to solve our lack of creativity. McKennie stands at 6’1 and is fairly quick of the mark with very good defensive attributes. He’s a very versatile player and can play in a number of positions on the pitch except as a goalkeeper. At Schalke he was primarily deployed as a box-to-box player, a very technical player with an eye for goal and pass, he is capable of dictating the tempo of the game and is capable of carrying the ball from deep positions (Pogba fans would love him).
Pirlo made it clear he plans to bring back the grinita which we saw under Conte and McKennie fits this profile perfectly, a hardworking and team player he would suit whatever style the mister wants to employ and a huge upgrade over Matuidi, Khedira and maybe Ramsey. Given Pirlo’s reputation during his playing days, I feel Pirlo sees something sitting which we the fans can’t see standing and we should trust his decision and give the wonderkid a chance. I am really excited about his prospects and havea feeling that he is going to be a huge hit with the fans and the coach. Competition in the center will be stiff, he would compete against a proven class player in Arthur, a resurrected Rabiot, a swashbuckling Bentancur and the possible arrival of a maestro in Aouar, its very unlikely he would be a starter off the mark and would probably follow the Demiral path and make use of the precious minutes to make an impact. With 3 goals and 1 assist in 28 games last season is already better than what our midfielders and a reason to be very optimistic.
McKennie’s versatility is his biggest strength and this would come in handy over the course of the season. Will he live up to the expectations of wearing a Juventus shirt or would he prove to be inconsistent? My bet is that he would be a key player and surprise a lot of skeptics especially in the late stage of the season. What do you guys think about him and where do you think Pirlo should play him?