The pride of Texas is now on Italian soil.
And very much about to make the biggest move of his very young career.
American midfielder Weston McKennie, one of the more surprising moves Juventus has made over the last couple of summers, has arrived at J Medical in Turin on Friday morning ahead of his loan move to the nine-time Italian champions. McKennie, who was in Austria with Schalke preparing for the 2020-21 Bundesliga season up until a day ago, just so happens to be turning 22 years old on the same day where he is expected to sign with the nine-time defending Italian champions.
Not a bad way to celebrate, right? (Yes, it’s a great way to celebrate.)
McKennie’s initial season-long loan move for the 2020-21 campaign will reportedly cost Juventus between €3 million and €3.5 million. As has been reported over the last 48 hours, Juve will also hold an option to buy McKennie’s services outright come next summer, with a reported price tag of around €18 million.
McKennie appeared in 32 games in all competitions last season for a Schalke side that finished 12th in the Bundesliga.
Essentially, this will be a season where McKennie — who was also garnering interest from English Premier League sides Southampton and Newcastle United — will be able to show if he is able to hang with the big boys. And at the tender age of 22, there is the line of thinking that there is still very much some talent to grow into, with the fact that he’s now got one of the best midfielders of his generation as his manager quite the asset and teacher to continue to tap into his potential.
Will he work out? I don’t know. But you gotta respect the ambition of a kid to accept a loan move to Juventus, one where he’s going to under a microscope from abroad as well as have to prove a lot to show he belongs.
But with a year-long audition to show that he belongs in Turin, that’s quite the motivating factor right there that could end up being quite the bargain for Juventus in the long run.