Juventus started the new year with a convincing win against Bologna in the Coppa Italia, a competition they have now won four times in a row. With many of the bianconeri’s starters watching from the sidelines including the likes of Ronaldo and Dybala, the side’s fringe players got some much needed minutes to prove themselves and largely impressed in the win. Leonardo Spinazzola was a constant threat down the left, Emre Can was tidy in the midfield alongside Pjanic, and Bernardeschi was even able to pocket himself a goal. Yet the real storyline was undoubtedly Italian wonder-kid Moise Kean.
The 18-year-old got his first start of the season, and made the most out of it snatching a goal early in the second half off a ricochet on Douglas Costa’s shot. Demonstrating his killer instinct within the 18-yard-box, Kean made no mistake and poked it past a helpless Da Costa before he could intervene. It was his second goal in a Juventus shirt, both coming against Bologna. After just over an hour of leading the line, the U-21 Italian international made way for Ronaldo, and will be pleased overall with his performance.
While Kean had a quiet first half, it didn’t stop him from leading the line expertly and occupying both central defenders at times, opening up space for Bernardeschi and Costa in the process. His incisive runs also posed a serious threat to Bologna getting behind dangerously, and Kean often interchanged positions with both wingers highlighting his diverse skill-set.
Stretching the defence at will, Kean was able to carve out enough space for himself to create chances and more importantly, take on defenders with his turn of pace. In possession, the 18-year-old dazzled and always looked a threat. However, other than one half-chance that fell to him at the edge of the box, the striker didn’t have much service in front of goal. Despite this, Kean demonstrated he was capable of creating for himself, and protected the ball nicely from the physical Helander before firing wide.
With reports suggesting Mario Mandzukic will be out for one month, Kean’s positive performance could not have come at a better time. While Bologna aren’t the best the league has to offer, the Italian international proved he was capable of leading the line and could offer some much needed depth in Serie A games, especially considering Juventus are competing on three fronts.
It may still be early days, but it doesn’t take much time before you realize Kean is a predestinato. In other words, he’s destined for success. In the past, Allegri has had issues implementing youth into his setup, yet Kean’s good form will provide him with a much-welcomed dilemma in the final third.
Throughout his entire career, be it at the international level with gli Azzurrini or in Juventus’ youth ranks, Kean has consistently found the back of the net and it appears this is a pattern that will translate to the senior team. As more teams begin inquiring for Kean, it’s important the Italian champions turn down all offers and give him regular minutes down the stretch. After all, he just might prove to be Juventus’ X factor off the bench.
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