Juventus’ incredibly thin midfield depth could be receiving a much-needed boost as early as Inter Milan’s visit to Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
According to a report from Tuttosport on Tuesday morning, midfielder Emre Can is closing in on his return to the fold, with the plan for the German international to ramp up his training the next three days in anticipation of a place on the bench for Friday’s showdown with Inter in Turin. Can, who was signed on a free transfer this summer, has been out the past six weeks after it was discovered that he would need surgery to repair a thyroid nodule condition.
And that sound you hear is Max Allegri screaming “Thank God!” from his office as he looks at the midfielders he will probably have available to him come a few days from now.
For the past month or so, with Can and Sami Khedira on the sidelines with their respective injuries, Allegri has been operating with minimal midfield depth. The trio of Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur have shouldered a huge load of the minutes, with Allegri even resorting to a shift away from the 4-3-3 or fielding Juan Cuadrado as a makeshift midfielder to give one of the regular three some kind of break.
The thing is, the absence of Can and Khedira has allowed Juve’s best midfield to really find a nice vein of form. The obvious beneficiary has been Bentancur, who is flourishing over the last two months since becoming a regular starter in the midfield. One of the biggest decisions will make this season is whether to keep Bentancur as a regular in the three-man midfield or go back to one of his two Germans to play off Pjanic’s right shoulder.
But, at the very least, it sounds like Can will be returning to the squad very soon. And knowing that midfield depth has been one of the biggest issues this squad has had since the season started, getting at least one German back in the fold is a nice development.