USMNT Star Weston McKennie Completes Move To Serie A Giant Juventus
Italian soccer giant Juventus have exercised the option to make USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie’s move from German side Schalke 04 permanent.
The 22-year-old has signed a contract at the Serie A champions until June 2025, the club have confirmed on Wednesday with a statement on their official website.
The Bianconeri will pay Schalke 04 a fee of $22,3 million with a future add-on of $7,8 million payable depending on performance-related issues.
McKennie, who is the first American to play for the ‘Old Lady’, is a product of former U.S. Soccer Development Academy side FC Dallas.
The US international spent four years in Germany and made 91 appearances for Schalke 04, but the Bundesliga club - currently sitting in the last position of the table - found itself in an uncertain financial situation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The fact that Juventus have moved the permanent transfer deal for McKennie forward gives us more planning security with a view to next season,” said Schalke 04 director of finance Christina Rühö-Hamers in a statement on their official website.
Texas-born McKennie originally moved to the Allianz Stadium last summer on a loan deal and has hit the ground running since arriving in Turin.
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The former Schalke 04 player has scored five goals and provided two assists in his 33 appearances for Juventus so far this season.
In half a season, McKennie scored the same amount of goals he netted in four years at Schalke 04, certifying his exceptional improvement.
On January 20 he also won the first trophy of his professional career, when Juventus defeated SSC Napoli 2-0 in the Italian Super Cup final.
His performances not only stunned Juventus’ coach Andrea Pirlo but also turned him into the most prolific US player in the history of Serie A - Italy’s top-flight competition.
And the Bianconeri could not be happier with him.
“Wes has proven to be a very important resource for Coach Pirlo, having already put his signature on important performances and goals. It's impossible not to think about his goal against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, or the one in the Derby della Mole - his first in the black and white jersey.” reads a statement on the Juventus website.
Under Pirlo management, McKennie improved his versatility and became the youngest midfielder in this league with at least four goals, which places him high in the running for the top US players in Europe this season.
Juventus’ number 14 has shown remarkable tactical intelligence and injected a sense of dynamism into the Bianconeri midfield, showing the potential to play a key role for the Italian giants in the future.
Juventus trail Serie A leaders FC Inter by seven points, but can cut that gap to four if they win their replay against SSC Napoli on March 17.
Additionally, Pirlo’s team will have a busy schedule ahead, facing SS Lazio on Saturday in the league before hosting FC Porto for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg.