After the initially mysterious omission of Weston McKennie from not only the starting XI but the entire matchday squad for the finale of Juventus’ American tour on Saturday against Real Madrid, we found ourselves sweating out yet another potential injury to a Juventus midfielder. With reports that Big Mac suffered a separated shoulder during the team’s final training session, the hope was he wouldn’t be gone too long from a midfield that was already going to be missing Paul Pogba for an extended period of time.
The latest report could be better, but it could also be a whole lot worse.
Multiple reports, chiefly from Gazzetta dello Sport, have now claimed that McKennie will be out a month as he recovers. In a normal year that wouldn’t be the worst of news, but it’s not fantastic considering the early start to the season thanks to
Qatar screwing up the sport’s calendar this year the World Cup’s abnormal time slot this year. If you assume he’ll be back in a month on the dot, that means he’ll miss the first three to four games of the season.
That’s going to make the decisions of both the front office and Massimiliano Allegri a bit harder as the transfer window continues. With both Arthur and Adrien Rabiot looking like they’re close to a move, that would leave Juve with only Manuel Locatelli, Denis Zakaria, and the young trio of Nicolo Rovella, Nicolo Fagioli, and Fabio Miretti in midfield, assuming both of the aforementioned players will eventually leave before the window closes.
Depending on just how long Pogba is out—it’s reported he’ll decide tomorrow whether to have a quick-fix or a longer-term repair to his injured knee—it may actually start to behoove Juventus to look into some midfield coverage from farther afield, especially if the plan continues to be to send at least Rovella out on loan. Neither he nor Fagioli—especially Fagioli—looked out of place in the past 10 days, but you’re also going to need bodies, especially given the condensed nature of the fixture list this year. Expect the Leandro Paredes rumors to jump into overdrive now that Allegri doesn’t have as many options in the engine room to start the season.
The midfield injuries have put a damper on a tour that started out bright. Now we’ll have to see how they’re handled by the club as they look to try to avoid the kind of slow start that doomed last year’s campaign.