Juventus announced their first signing of the summer mercato last week with wide player Timothy Weah joining the club from Lille in Ligue 1. If the last name sounds very familiar, it’s because the USMNT international is the son of legendary AC Milan striker George Weah who became the first African Ballon d’Or winner in the mid-nineties.
The expectation is that the 23-year-old will become the replacement for veteran Juan Cuadrado who left the club this week to join Inter Milan. Weah indicated his pride and happiness in making the switch to Serie A and even answered the first question in Italian.
“I am very happy to be here at Juve. It is a blessing for me and my family. Thank you all for this opportunity, I am very honoured to be Bianconero.”
On his reasons for joining Juve -
“Choosing Juve was easy. When I learned that they were interested in me, I really wanted to come here to write my own story. I knew this was going to be a big challenge, but as a professional I want to work, learn, listen to everyone and push myself to my limits. I’m ready, my first days here were fantastic, I was welcomed wonderfully by the club.
“My dad has always supported me and has always been a Juventus fan, it was a coincidence.”
On how he would contribute to coach Massimiliano Allegri’s squad, especially with his new conversion to the wingback role -
“Getting here that was already my thought. It’s a challenge, as a professional I have to listen to the coach and the other players. I’ll push myself beyond my limits, when they tell me I’m ready I’ll be ready to go.
“Last season I played as a winger and it comes very naturally to me, so I concentrated on this, trying to adapt to the defensive aspect as well. I’ll play where it’s needed. I listen a lot to the coach’s advice. He’s a great person as well as a great coach, I’m sure I’ll be able to improve my game with him. He is very attentive to all the details, he told me to learn a lot from my teammates, to have fun and be ready to improve.”
Cuadrado left the club after eight years having won a number of trophies with the Bianconeri, and those are big shoes to fill. Weah even added the Colombian was one of his inspirations.
“It’s certainly a responsibility, he’s a legend here, a myth. I can be inspired by him, and I’ll have inspiration from all my teammates, I hope I can do my best, it’s a great challenge.
“I would say Cuadrado because he has very similar characteristics to me. I will draw inspiration from his plays, I want to observe his movements. I still have a lot of room for improvement, and I hope the coach will help me.”
How have his first days at Continassa gone so far?
“The first days here were fantastic, they’re a group that take care of everyone who comes here. There are many friends, and this will bring me great advantages and benefits.
“Jonathan David [striker at Lille] is one of my best friends, he asked me questions. I told him that if by chance he decides to come to Juventus, he must be ready to work hard.”
What had he learned from his father about competing in Serie A?
“I know that Serie A is one of the most amazing leagues, if not the best in the world. There are teams like Napoli and Milan, I know that the competition and the level are very high. I’m ready to learn.”
How about the coach, what had he said to him in his first conversations?
“As soon as I arrived I met the coach, who is a very good person as well as a great coach, he is very accurate and precise even in training.
“He told me that I can learn from him but also from my teammates. I’m very happy to be here, I hope I can get better and better.”
On his choice to wear shirt number 22 -
“Number 22 has an old story. It’s my birthday, I was born on February 22nd. And it’s also the first number my mum put on me and I promised myself I would always wear it at all clubs.”