September 24, 2021

McKennie to start for Juventus against Napoli after being kicked out of USMNT squad

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Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed the midfielder will be in the starting XI for the weekend Serie A clash

Weston McKennie will return to the Juventus starting XI for the match against Napoli on Saturday despite being kicked out of the United States squad this week.

The midfielder was dropped from the team before the World Cup qualifying clash with Honduras for violating Covid-19 protocol.

McKennie apologised for the violation but was warned by USMNT hero Landon Donovan that he risks ruining his future with his country.

What has been said?

Despite the controversy, however, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri has said McKennie is certain to feature in this weekend’s Serie A clash.

He said at a press conference: “McKennie is fine and will be in the first XI, we will see in what role. Federico Chiesa will stay at home as a precaution.

“Tomorrow we have the ideal line-up to play against Napoli. In moments of difficulty we have to pull out something more to get out of it.”

Does McKennie have a future in the USMNT?

McKennie has faced a lot of criticism in his homeland for his conduct, with reports claiming he twice disregarded the team’s restrictions.

But coach Gregg Berhalter has said the 23-year-old will be back in the team eventually, telling reporters: “Me and Weston had long conversations. He’s a guy that I care for deeply.

“He’s a big part of the team and I’m sure when he’s performing well he’ll be back on the team.”

How has McKennie performed for Juventus?

McKennie joined Juve from Schalke last year on an initial loan deal before making the move permanent at the end of the season.

He scored five times in 34 Serie A appearances in 2020-21 but has played just 45 minutes of the current campaign.

After missing the first league game of the season due to suspension, McKennie started against Empoli at the end of August but was substituted at half-time.

Reports in Italy claimed the club were considering selling him in the transfer window, but Allegri confirmed to reporters that he wanted him to stay.

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