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Juventus 2013-14 Season In Review: The Wingbacks

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Valerio Pennicino

This latest installment of the Season In Review takes a look at the players that are so important to Antonio Conte's preferred 3-5-2 system, the wingbacks. Some provide amazing energy and width, as well as solid defensive work. Others, more of the latter than the former. A potential switch to 4-3-3 next season could be interesting for these players but here are the ratings for 2013-14.

Stephan Lichtsteiner - 7

The Swiss international continued his solid displays at right wingback this season. An area where we saw significant improvement was in his final distribution, as he had eight assists in Serie A this season (compared to two last season). He also got on the score sheet on two occasions — which isn't a bad return either for a wingback.

One downside to Lichtsteiner's season may have been his performances in Europe this season where he would perhaps liked to have had more of an impact. Granted, injury and rotation had a part to play in this as he missed some important Champions League games at the end last year through injury and Conte gave Isla a chance in the Europa League.

All of the rumours in the press this post season are that Conte is going to bring in players to allow Juventus to play a 4-3-3 formation for next season. This can only be good news for Lichtsteiner as it will allow him to revert to his more natural position. Having said that, he is more than comfortable on the right of a 3-5-2 at this point so will have no problem switching between roles.

The 30-year-old’s current contract with the Bianconeri is set to expire in June 2015 and he has indicated that he his hoping to sign an extension. Juventini will rejoice at this as The Swiss Express has been one of the clubs most consistent performers since he arrived in 2011.

Kwadwo Asamoah – 7.5

Asamoah has really cemented his place in the side this season as one of Juve's most consistent performers both domestically and in Europe. The Ghanaian international scored two goals in Serie A this year and had three assists.

The statistics might not show it, but some of his best performances this season came in the Europa League as game after game he displayed very impressive pace, strength, dribbling and attacking play as well as coping very well defensively when called upon.

This is all the more impressive when you consider Asamoah arrived at the club as a central midfielder, a position we have rarely had a chance to see him prove himself such is the array of talent and depth available to Conte there.

Looking to the future, as mentioned previously the possible use of a 4-3-3 for some games next season could provide some interesting opportunities for Asamoah. He could potentially play on the left of that middle three or as proved against Real Madrid this season he can also fit in as a left full back in a back four.

This tactical versatility will ensure that Kwadwo will continue to be a pivotal part of the Juve side of the future and the best news of all is that he is still only 25 years old.

Mauricio Isla – 6.5

The 2013-2014 season was definitely an improvement on the previous season for the Chilean international which would not have been difficult. Although Isla did not exactly set the world alight, he did prove to be a good back up option for Lichtsteiner — especially in the Europa League where he probably put in some of his better performances this year.

Having said that, he has been nowhere near the level of performance he displayed with Udinese and, at this stage, it is difficult to say if he will get a chance to reach that level again with Juventus.

On the plus side, he is still only 25 years old, so a lot will depend on him staying injury free and proving to Conte that he can once again reach the heights of his Friuli days. Isla should start for Chile in the World Cup next month, so this can only do his confidence good and it might go some way to getting him back to his best form.

Federico Peluso – 6.5

When the player in front of you from a selection standpoint (Asamoah) is having his best season in a Juve shirt, it is going to be difficult to have any major impact on your clubs season.

Peluso's appearances have been limited to a support role, but when he has played, he has proved solid if not spectacular. Defensively he is not a bad option to have in the squad but going forward he offers very little.

With the potential move to 4-3-3 it would be difficult to see him having more than a support role yet again next season as Asamoah, Ogbonna and Chiellini would also be ahead of him in the pecking order for that left back position.

Depending on where the transfer is kitty is prioritized having Peluso as a squad player going forward won't have any huge impact on Juve's season. He'll continue to do a job if required.

Simone Padoin - 6

Padoin more or less continued his role in the side from the previous season. i.e. being one of Antonio Conte's favourite subs. He made 15 substitute appearances in total this season and from a manager's perspective he is probably the type of guy you want in your squad.

You know he is going to give 100 percent every time he comes on. Is he going to change the course of a game? No. But if you're in a position that you just want to steady the game and get someone who will provide you with a solid if uninspiring performance then Padoin is your man.

If Juventus are to make a step up in Europe, it is the likes of Padoin that will need to be upgraded. Only time will tell if the Conte love for 'not so super sub' Padoin continues.