Emre Can to fuel Juventus
Emre Can’s much talked about move to Juventus is finally close to completion and both parties are sure to benefit, writes Nick Valerio.
Having been strongly linked to the Arsenal job after Arsene Wenger’s sudden departure, Max Allegri quickly made it clear he would be staying as Juventus Coach, but there were strings attached to his commitment.
The 2017-18 double winning boss has long called for further and significant investment to finally win the Champions League after twice going agonisingly close in recent years, and his demands are likely to be met.
Douglas Costa’s successful loan has recently been made official, while goalkeeper Mattia Perin has joined from Genoa. Next through the door is Emre Can, and the 24-year-old arrives with big hopes.
For all the talk of Jurgen Klopp willingly moving Can on, the Frankfurt-born star has made no secret of his desire to operate as a No 6 and the choice to leave was ultimate the player’s.
The move to Italy will almost certainly benefit both Can and the Bianconeri. Under Allegri’s tutelage, the former Bayern Munich youngster’s tactical game will develop immensely and Juventus will afford him the platform to play in his preferred position, where he could feature for the next seven or eight years.
Sure, it will be a test for Can, moving to a club geared to consistently winning trophies, but he should slot in seamlessly and the pace of the league will also suit the midfielder. The new addition will impact on the Champions’ existing midfield, but for the better.
Miralem Pjanic often featured at the base of the team with Sami Khedira, but the Bosnian’s talents are better served further forward. With the incoming German international starring as the shield for the back three or four, Pjanic will be released to play his natural game and link up with Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa.
If Juventus are to also get their wish of signing the much sought-after Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, there will be even more emphasis and responsibility on Can, but a chance to prove his credentials as the holder is what the player wants, and the potential trio has all the makings of Juve’s next great midfield. Technically, the new man is also underrated, and his acrobatic effort against Watford was unlucky not to be named as the Premier League’s goal of the season.
Internationally, were it not for injuries in the second half of the campaign, Can would have been on the plane to Russia. For Liverpool, he played in virtually every game he was fit in and Klopp went to great lengths to keep him at Anfield, even giving him the armband in the absence of first choice skipper Jordan Henderson, an act that also emphasised Can’s leadership abilities.
The German made great strides in his time in England, often linked with a return to the Bundesliga giants as well as the two Manchester sides, and it is testament to CEO Beppe Marotta that Can will be playing his football with the Bianconeri next term as Juve’s latest free transfer coup.
COSTA - MARTIAL/MORATA - DYBALA
Bernardeschi - Mandzukic - Cuadrado MATUIDI - CAN - PJANIC
Bentancur - Marchisio - Khedira ALEX SANDRO - CHIELLINI - BENATIA - CANCELO
Spinazzola - Rugani - Caldara - Barzagli - De Sciglio SZCZESNY