Juventus rebuilding after European defeat with Khedira capture
In 2010, Sami Khedira was given the perfect platform on which to showcase his midfield talents at the South Africa-hosted World Cup, after being called up by Joachim Low to replace an injured Michael Ballack, going on to play all seven matches for Germany and striking in the third-place play-off against Uruguay.
With big boots to fill in the defensive midfield role, Khedira quickly shot to prominence with his impressive displays at a deafening vuvuzela-filled tournament on African soil, a year after captaining his country’s Under-21 side to European Championship glory.
Five years down the line, and the German anchorman has put pen to paper on a four-year deal with Serie A champions Juventus, after a free transfer from Real Madrid, where last summer’s World Cup winner spent a challenging five seasons following a switch from Stuttgart.
While Khedira was pondering his future, prior to his Turin transfer, the Old Lady was busy attempting to thwart the onslaught of Barcelona, who ultimately lifted their fifth European crown at the expense of the German international’s new club (14/1 with Coral to win 2015/16 CL).
Two key aspects of the Italian champions’ road to the Champions League final in Berlin was midfield duo Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba, who are both heavily tipped to depart Turin this summer, with the latter linked to a host of European giants, including Real Madrid (3/1 to join).
Having just secured the capturing of Khedira from Los Blancos, as well as signing former Madrid marksman Alvaro Morata from the Spanish capital club last year, close connections have been built between these sides.
In a possible transfer ploy, both former Bernabeu players could have been used as potential sweeteners to help soften a future bid for Juventus’ sought-after star attraction Pogba, with a definite space opening up in their ranks with the recent departure of Khedira.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) June 9, 2015
Madrid’s El Clasico rivals Barca are also keen on reaching an agreement for French maestro Pogba, with PSG also clinging to hope the 22-year-old will choose to return to his home country, while Manchester City are desperately hoping to lay the boot into his former club and rivals United with his signature (3/1).
Deep lying Italian playmaker Pirlo was unable to fight back the tears after missing out on a third career Champions League triumph, having won twice with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, but he has been repeatedly touted for a move to the MLS to join the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
However, managing to retain the services of both Pogba and Pirlo; coupled with the astute arrival of Khedira, and the Turin titans’ midfield ranks will look extremely healthy, despite signing each of this talented trio for free.
Khedira’s performances at the World Cup in Brazil last year showed that the towering holding midfielder is still capable of dominating the central positions, as he helped guide Germany to international dominance, and played an integral part in that famous 7-1 demolition over the hosts, even scoring himself.
With a host of silverware success already in his impressive career for club and country, including Champions League, Bundesliga, La Liga and World Cup titles, Khedira’s arrival in Turin could signal the assembling of a new-look Juventus outfit, or simply just an improvement on the current European finalists’ talented ranks.