Ever since Wojciech Szczesny made a pair of game-changing mistakes in Juventus’ season opener against Udinese last month, many folks have been wondering when there would be a changing of the guard in goal. Despite the calls for a chance and more game-changing mistakes happening, Juve manager has been stedfast in his support of the under-fire Szczesny, who has been out of sorts for the better part of the last year.
While there isn’t a major change happening soon, it does look like there will be an Italian starting in goal for Juventus once again come this weekend.
According to reports from Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti, Giovanni Albanese of La Gazzetta dello Sport and Friday’s edition of Tuttosport, Allegri is set to do some rotation this weekend for Juve’s lunchtime kickoff against Sampdoria on Sunday afternoon. One of those moves involves Mattia Perin stepping in for Szczesny in goal — the kind of move the Juve manager sometimes makes with his goalkeepers with a big Champions League game next up on the schedule. (After facing Samp on Sunday, Juve host Chelsea on Wednesday night.)
After spending the last season and a half on loan at Genoa, Sunday would be Perin’s first appearance as a Juventus player since April 13, 2019, in a 2-1 loss to SPAL.
This looks to be a smart move for a couple of different reasons. For one, Perin will get his first in-game action since the preseason when he was getting the bulk of the playing time before Szczesny came back from international duty at Euro 2020. The second, and maybe more importantly, Szczesny won’t risk any further meltdowns and confidence issues ahead of such a big game against Chelsea next week.
Now, playing Perin is not being reported as anything more than just a one-game deal. That won’t stop the chatter of Perin getting more playing time over the course of the immediate future if he does end up playing well and maybe even helping Juventus record a rare clean sheet. (How weird is that to hear after how good Juve’s defense was during Allegri’s last tenure?) That’s just the nature of how Szczesny has started the season — even though he has played better in the last couple of games — and the thirst to have him replaced regardless of who his backup may be.
For now, though, most signs point toward Perin getting his first start of the season this Sunday and then for Szczesny to step back in come Champions League time. We’ll see where that takes us — and hopefully it’s nothing too eventful because the last thing this Juventus team needs is another issue to put onto the list of all the other ones.