With Emre Can being sent to Borussia Dortmund on the final day of the January transfer window, the announcement of Juventus’ roster for the Champions League knockout rounds was going to be much less dramatic. There was going to be no players with massive gripes about being left off the list, no players wondering what their future at the club might be like if they weren’t included.
Things were bound to be simple.
And that’s even with Juventus still dealing with some injuries.
Everybody you expected to be on Juve’s Champions League squad list for the knockout rounds were included, it was announced on Monday. There was Giorgio Chiellini even though he’s still weeks away from being 100 percent healthy again. There was also Sami Khedira, who we’re still waiting to see when he will return from his own knee surgery in December, although obviously not as serious as the one Chiellini was forced into three months earlier.
The only omission is also one that was totally expected: Merih Demiral, who suffered a torn ACL early last month in Juventus’ win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.
Behold, Juve’s complete Champions League knockout phase squad:
2 De Sciglio
4 de Ligt
11 Douglas Costa
12 Alex Sandro
Told you there was no surprises with this list.
Even though we don’t know for sure when Chiellini and Khedira will make their respective returns to both training with the team as a whole and subsequently get back on the field in a competitive match, this is as much of a sign as they might be available for the Champions League quarterfinals if Juventus were to get there. Seeing as what their health — and, like with Khedira, the overall form of the player — has been like over these last few months, who knows where they actually fit into Maurizio Sarri’s plans.
That’s probably more of sticking point with Chiellini than Khedira seeing as the latter’s absence has allowed both Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot to get much-needed playing time and subsequently establish themselves as two of the best midfielders on Juve’s roster. We are waiting for you to come back, Giorgio, and hopefully it is in a few weeks once Juventus has beaten Lyon and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.