With the amount of departures — and still-expected players to leave — that we’ve seen at Juventus this summer, it was only natural for a few guys to potentially take advantage and get the kind of squad numbers that they much rather prefer compared to what they’ve had in their first year(s) in Turin.
Clearly this is something that Manuel Locatelli and Weston McKennie considered, too.
With Juventus’ 2022-23 season opener right around the corner, Saturday was the day in which the official roster — or, at least what it looks like right now — was posted to the club’s website. Everybody you expected to be there was, in fact, there, but there was a catch: Locatelli and McKennie had different numbers than what they wore the season before. Locatelli and McKennie have both switched to the numbers that they wear for their respective national teams, with the Italian midfielder going to No. 5 and the American going to No. 8.
McKennie’s new number was available with Aaron Ramsey’s departure earlier this summer, while Locatelli takes over the No. 5 after Arthur worn it the past two seasons.
Arthur is still technically on the roster, but now he’s wearing No. 29 — a pretty indicative sign that Max Allegri has absolutely no plans to use the Brazilian midfielder and his tiny circles and that he’s just keeping a jersey number warm until he actually leaves.
Other number news with the release of the official roster prior to kickoff against Sassuolo:
- Nicolo Rovella is still there and wearing No. 13.
- Fabio Miretti is done with the kind of number a youth player who is called up from the Under-23 squad would wear and has taken over the No. 20.
- Nicolo Fagioli will stick with the No. 44 that he wore during Juventus’ preseason tour in the United States. It just so happens to be the same number that Fagioli wore when he was first called up to the senior team from the primavera during the 2018-19 season.
- As expected, new signing Filip Kostic will wear No. 17 after Luca Pellegrini moved to Kostic’s former club, Eintracht Frankfurt on loan earlier this week.
To see Locatelli switch to a new number that is in the single digits isn’t a big surprise seeing as many people — including the guy who is writing this sentence — hoped that he would take over the No. 8 when Ramsey did in fact leave. Locatelli is a Juventino to the core, and he’s posted on social media a handful of times of his admiration for somebody who wore the No. 8 when he was growing up, Claudio Marchisio. Instead, Locatelli went with the 5, the same number he wore when Italy lifted the trophy at the Euros last summer.
We’ll get to see him and potentially McKennie — who has been training most of the past week despite his shoulder injury supposedly keeping him out for three weeks — in their new numbers come Monday night’s season opener. That will hopefully be pretty fun.