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Federico Chiesa, Paulo Dybala both officially back training with the group

Good news!

Juventus v Zenit St. Petersburg: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Matteo Bottanelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Transfer rumor from unreliable source here. Transfer rumor from unreliable source there. Now that it’s January, there’s a whole lot of nonsense being floated around knowing full well that this is the time of year when there’s such a hunger for any sort of transfer

So how about something having to do with what Juventus can actually do on the field?

The good news: Juventus didn’t make it three straight days of announcing a positive COVID-19 case within the senior team.

Even better news: As of Sunday, two of Juventus’ most creative and important attacking options are officially back training with the rest of the squad.

That’s right, people. Federico Chiesa is back after his injury absence that kept him out since late November. Paulo Dybala, too, is back after missing Juve’s last three games before the holiday break due to injury is back training with the whole gang, too. Together, the last two days has brought some very positive injury-related news when otherwise the focus has been on who’s out due to COVID-19 and who might be leaving since it’s the beginning of January.

From Saturday’s training recap on Juve’s website:

Juve convened in the afternoon at the Juventus Training Center, which was the second individual session for the Bianconeri who re-joined from South America, whilst the rest of the group concentrated on athletic work and technical exercises on the development of play.

Federico Chiesa took part in the entire session with the group and Giorgio Chiellini has also returned to training.

Step 1 is done. (Although, as we know, just as Chiellini returned to training away from the group he tested positive for COVID-19 after being in close contact with another positive case over the holiday break.)

And here is Sunday’s training recap on Juve’s website:

Today, for the team, a double Sunday session. In the morning, defensive exercises were worked on, followed by a session with a match, while in the afternoon, the focus was on athletic training. Paulo Dybala completed the entire training in the group, while Kaio Jorge and Luca Pellegrini did not train due to a flu syndrome.

There’s Part 2. (We hope Pellegrini and Kaio Jorge feel better soon, of course!)

Upon reading these two things on back-to-back days when waking up in the morning made me think what I’m sure a lot of people were thinking, too: What does this mean for both the showdown with Napoli on Thursday night as well as the immediate future?

When Max Allegri switched to the 4-2-3-1 formation a couple of weeks before the Christmas break, one of the most intriguing things wasn’t necessarily wasn’t it was looking like at the moment. Sure, what it did and how much better Juve might have looked on that given day was always going to matter, but what the 4-2-3-1 could look like when Chiesa returned to action was always an exciting prospect.

Now, with that being said, we don’t know for sure if the 4-2-3-1 will be Max’s choice when Juve take the field against Napoli on Thursday night, but you gotta think he’s at least entertaining it knowing full well that Chiesa and Dybala are healthy again and back training. And if that’s the case, starting Dybala and a Fede or two out on the wings definitely sounds like a good way to go into such a big game right out of the gate in January.