Missed opportunities for young guns
Young stars Dejan Kulusevski and Moise Kean have endured difficult seasons at Juventus and both failed to impress on Saturday. While the latter’s in a bit of a rut, the former just can’t build any momentum in Bianconeri colours.
Kulusevski scored the equaliser against Roma in Juve’s unforgettable win and he produced a bright opening 45 minutes in the Supercoppa. However, he faded as Juve sunk deeper in the second period. Nevertheless, Allegri rewarded the Swede with an optimal chance to shine against a makeshift Udinese defence, but the game passed him by.
Admittedly, he wasn’t performing his best function – Allegri had him holding the width down the right as opposed to occupying spaces between the lines where Dybala roamed – and, consequently, he was brought off at half-time. The Swede ended the night with 24 touches, zero shot-creating actions, one successful dribble and two progressive carries. He was also dispossessed a joint-most three times.
Kean, meanwhile, didn’t fare too much better than Kulusevski but he did have some nice sequences in the first half that depicted some improvement in his hold-up play and capacity to play off one-touch.
However, Allegri is yet to find the Italian’s best role and you feel that he’s slowly succumbing to Alvaro Morata’s fate. While the manager appreciates having a focal point and a ‘pure nine’ leading the line, he’s got to realise that Kean isn’t that. Not yet anyway. He hasn’t got the technical repertoire to be a reliable target man who can consistently hold the ball up and bring others into play. The Italian also struggles when pressurised by an opponent from behind.
His role needs to be simplified. Get him running the channels as much as possible, Max.
As we noted, Kean’s display was far from disastrous and he played a direct role in Dybala’s opener. But considering Udinese’s depleted ranks, the Italian underwhelmed somewhat.