Juventus announced on Friday the purchase of defender Merih Demiral from Sassuolo for a €18M fee. The 21-year-old player inked a five-year contract and will be evaluated by new coach Maurizio Sarri in the pre-season camp. Demiral moved to Italy in January from Alanyaspor and the Old Lady had struck some sort of unofficial agreement with the Neroverdi prior to his arrival to Serie A, which allowed them to close the deal pretty easily and beat out the competition from other clubs.
Demiral quickly became a starter for the Roberto De Zerbi-led team, impressing for his imposing physicality and personality despite the young age. He also has six caps with Turkey. After growing up in the Fenerbahce youth system, he spent some time in Portugal, at Sporting CP and Alcanense, before returning to his home country.
Demiral is understandably a little raw, but he is quite clearly in the Giorgio Chiellini mold of centre-backs, as he is one of those tenacious man markers that keep the direct opponent under control thanks to their muscularity. He also takes advantage of it to do some damage on offense and he is often a menace on set pieces: he scored twice in 14 matches last season.
Juventus needed some depth in the defense since Andrea Barzagli retired and Martin Caceres was not retained after the loan spell: Demiral joins Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani in the current back-line.
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