Just when one of Juventus’ injured midfielders is set to return to the squad, we have a development that could very well see another mid miss some time.
And it just so happens to be arguably Juve’s best midfielder going these days, too.
In what was an otherwise very uneventful pre-match press conference in Turin on Thursday afternoon, Juventus manager Max Allegri announced that Uruguayan starlet Rodrigo Bentancur has picked up a back injury and is now in jeopardy of missing Friday night’s Derby d’Italia against Inter Milan at Allianz Stadium. As much as there was some joy in the fact that Allegri said that Emre Can will be in the match day squad and be available for selection for the first time in over a month, the fact that Bentancur is now a serious injury doubt took some of the shine off the positive midfield development.
The line about evaluating Bentancur at training on Thursday is pretty much the same kind of thing we hear whenever Allegri is thinking of resting somebody and/or seeing what kind of condition a player who is possibly injured is in.
How would Bentancur’s back injury impact Juventus’ midfield?
Allegri threw out the fact that a two-man midfield could be used, with Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi as the logical pair since Can is just back from injury after undergoing thyroid surgery on Oct. 29. Basically, 4-4-2, anybody?
But when it comes to Bentancur’s status, just remember this fact that Allegri said at the pre-match press conference: Wednesday night’s Champions League group stage finale against Young Boys, one where the top spot in the group is still very much out there for the taking, has more importance than Friday’s Derby d’Italia.
So if Bentancur doesn’t play try and play through the pain against Inter, it could be with the Young Boys fixture in mind.