There is no argument when it comes to where Kwadwo Asamoah is best deployed. The thing is, ever since joining Juventus two summers ago, Asamoah has rarely played in his more natural central midfield position — the same spot where he made his name at Udinese.
But as time has gone on, Asamoah has developed into one heck of a wingback, becoming one of the more consistent performers for Antonio Conte's 102-point Juventus last season. That has spurned talk of where he might fit in case Conte went with a four-man defense like folks in the Italian press had been suggesting for months.
And even with Max Allegri now running the show, the possibility of a four-man defense being used still remains. What does Asamoah think of potentially being a left back this season? Well, he got asked about it on Friday.
"In these first few friendlies we have played with the formation we used last year, but in case Allegri decides to change, for me it would be no problem to adapt as I did two years ago when I arrived at Juve. From an internal midfielder I switched out to the wing. No problem then? I repeat, no problem, ever. I played in that role in Udine."
(Source: Football Italia)
Why am I bringing these quotes up? Well, it's pretty simple. This is what Asamoah had to say after Ghana lost their World Cup opener to the United States back in June:
"Everybody knows where I perform best. I have never enjoyed playing at the back but when you're asked to step in what can you do? I see myself as one of the creative players on the field and so when I play in the offense, it's more helpful. I don't enjoy playing at the back and in the end it doesn't help the team. When you play as a target man, you have to stay up front and help the team out by holding the ball up and waiting for support. That all comes with experience. It's a good role for me to play when its on the offensive. But I'm afraid the defense is not the best place for me."
Even with those comments Asamoah offered two months ago, I'll take a stab at some kind of context that comes along with them.
When he's on international duty, Asamoah is easily his country's best central midfielder. And when news came out that Asamoah was going to be deployed as a left back against the U.S. in Ghana's World Cup opener, many American fans were pretty relieved that manager Kwesi Appiah would play his best midfielder out of position.
But now that he's back training with Juventus, Asamoah's tune has changed. Could it be because there's a lot more competition in the center of the midfield in Turin than there is back at home? Yeah, that seems pretty likely. I mean, nothing against Ghana, but it's not like they're trotting out central midfield competition like Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio every single game like Juve does. There's only so many minutes that go around between the four of those guys — and that's before we even try to figure out where Asamoah would fit into that equation.
The good thing in all of this? Juventus have a serviceable backup in Patrice Evra just in case Asamoah does struggle when he's deployed as a left back. Evra will also be playing plenty of minutes when Asamoah is away on international duty in January for the Africa Cup of Nations. It hasn't been very often these post-Serie B years we've been able to say Juve have depth on the left side of their defense. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.
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