Juventus exercise permanent transfer option for USMNT’s McKennie

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USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie is officially, permanently, a Juventus player after the Serie A giants exercised the $22-million option in their loan agreement with Bundesliga cellar dwellers Schalke.

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McKennie went straight into the starting lineup for Juventus on the opening day of the 2020-21 league season, and the 22-year-old Dallas-Fort Worth native has hardly looked back in the six months since he made his debut for the nine-time defending Serie A champions. In just over half a season, McKennie has already made 31 first-team appearances, scored four goals and lifted one trophy (the Italian Super Cup).

In short, McKennie is the runaway leader for best USMNT player during the 2020-21 season.

Juventus took every opportunity to fawn over their American star as they announced the transaction on Wednesday:

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.

It’s also important to note that he is also the youngest midfielder in this league with at least four goals, as well as the best American scorer in Serie A history. In six of the goals he has actively participated in (four goals and two assists), Juventus have always won.

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After 24 of 38 games played, it’s beginning to look like Juventus might not complete their decade of dominance and win a 10th straight Serie A title this season. Andrea Pirlo’s side trails Inter Milan and AC Milan by seven and three points, respectively. Alas, Juventus still have dates with both Milan clubs in May, both inside the final four games of the season.