Don’t look now but Max Allegri might have about as full of a squad as he’s had since coming back to Turin as Juventus gets set to play its (latest) biggest game of the domestic season this weekend when they head over to the San Siro to face Inter Milan.
Like FULL SQUAD FULL SQUAD. Yeah, that.
We know this because of two important developments on Thursday.
For one, Juventus announced in its daily recap that Paulo Dybala has returned to full training with the rest of the squad, the one thing we were waiting for to confirm that he is healthy again after suffering a muscle injury against Sampdoria late last month. We never really knew when Dybala could return, with Juventus simply saying their No. 10 (and Alvaro Morata) was “out until after the international break” — which basically forced us all to play the waiting game.
Later in the day, Juventus had another announcement, this time stating that Adrien Rabiot has recovered from COVID-19 after initially testing positive over the international break. (Ironically, right after Rabiot’s France squad played a UEFA Nations League semifinal ... in Turin.)
Adrien Rabiot recovers from COVID-19: https://t.co/NW0IIc7B1a pic.twitter.com/zA72Tsv3Jz— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 22, 2021
To what extent they will be available is the obvious question heading into this latest edition of the Derby d’Italia. All signs point toward both being on the bench seeing as they are just back in training at the end of the week. And seeing as Juve’s been playing shorthanded for weeks now yet has been able to right the ship, that is an improvement on both accounts.
Knowing just how thin options have been up front, having Dybala back in some sort of capacity for the weekend trip to Milan is more than just a positive development. Say he’s able to come off the bench in the second half and can make some sort of impact, then that’s something that Allegri hasn’t had for much of the last month. As much as Dejan Kulusevski is a talented option off the bench and was the biggest reason why Juve got the win over Zenit earlier this week, Dybala is simply a better goal-scoring threat.
And now, finally, we can say that the entire squad is healthy. Seriously. It only took until the second to last week in October, but we’re finally here. At least for a little bit. Hopefully.