Juventus: 4 young players who can be keys to victory vs. Sampdoria

Juventus (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)
Juventus (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /

Juventus’ four key players help in victory to the club.

Last season Juventus won both of their matches against Sampdoria under Sarri, so let’s see who are four key players Andrea Pirlo will use in Juve’s first league match against Sampdoria.

Juventus LB Luca Pellegrini

The youngster has had a solid season for a rather inconsistent Cagliari side, going on to make 24 appearances and collect six assists during that time. Although his stats are fairly average, his general play still deserves credit. Gifted with lots of pace, clever feet, and offering a constant attacking threat, the young Italian is a type of player who could benefit Juve.

Also, Pellegrini has shown his versatility. He is mostly known for being a left-back, but he has also been featured as a left-wingback, left midfielder, and even as a central midfielder. Having this kind of versatility helps Pirlo be a little more flexible. Whether that is by adjusting formations mid-match or being able to use his to fill gaps when injuries or suspensions occur, it could be a big asset.

Juventus CM Weston McKennie

The 22-year-old midfielder has shown his class in a friendly match against Novara. McKennie himself lasted the first half before Pirlo made sweeping changes to the side. The American recovered possession for Juventus a few times including a crunching tackle and one which led to a good opportunity for Ramsey and almost registered an assist for Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Portuguese’s shot was saved by the keeper.

Juventus CM Arthur Melo

Arthur is a high-quality central midfielder, capable of playing in several positions across the midfield and is blessed with exceptional technical ability as well as precise vision, which has often seen him likened to Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez. Arthur’s ability on the ball, as well as his football IQ, make him a very exciting prospect playing under the system Pirlo has implemented in his time as Juventus manager. As Juventus have played possession-based football last season, with a huge focus on maintaining the ball and position play, a midfielder with Arthur’s skill set is of extreme value.

Additionally, Arthur played 2.3 long balls per game and averaged 0.6 key passes, as well as managing to assist four times, per WhoScored.com. These figures are rather impressive considering prior to Quique Setien taking charge of Barcelona, Arthur’s creativity was vastly limited under Ernesto Valverde. Since Setien took charge of Barcelona, Arthur’s performances improved, with both his expected goals (xG) and expected assists (xA) increasing.

Juventus FW Dejan Kulusevski

The 20-year-old provided an assist to Cristiano Ronaldo in a friendly match against Novara. He does well to make himself available for his teammates off the ball and when he receives it towards the middle he looks to play the through-ball or risky passes rather than shooting. He plays 2.44 key passes (2.37 in open play) and averages 0.26 expected goals assisted every 90 minutes, an exceptional amount for an under-21 player.

What is really interesting about his style is that he can pass the ball it without necessarily slowing his run much. This means that he can accelerate his decision-making and catch defenders off guard with his passes. The Swede is undoubtedly a pass-first winger, but even if he doesn’t shoot much, his 0.14 xG/shot is quite high. This is because 82% of his xG is generated either from a through-ball or a dribble.

Next. Weston McKennie will be a big surprise for Juventus. dark

When he receives a pass on the flank, he tends to run vertically with the ball using the outside of his foot, but he is much more dangerous when he moves towards the center to receive the ball. Despite playing as a winger he attempts just 1.66 crosses per 90, completing them at a 39% clip and just 18% of his box entries are crossed. He also completes 1.87 passes inside the box per 90 (seventh-highest in the league).

All these youngsters are very talented and may become the key to success for Juventus.