Stephy Mavididi: former Arsenal academy striker seeks Juventus debut

02 April at 18:15

The Under-20 England international arrived in Turin from Arsenal last summer and joined the brand new Under 23 squad. Juventus are the first (and for now only) Serie A club to have created a reserve team that competes in Serie C (England’s League One) and the 20-year-old is a key part of the squad coached by Mauro Zironelli.

Mavididi, who thrived in Arsenal’s youth sector, has six goals in 31 league games so far this season and his Juve Under 23 squad are five points behind the playoff places.  In their first season, Mavididi’s side has had many highs and lows. So many they never managed two successive wins. At some points last winter, Zironelli was even close to being sacked but the team’s performances have been improving alongside results through the season, saving his job and the season of the Black-and-Whites. The last two weeks are a glaring example of their entire campaign. After a brilliant home 3-0 win against Pro Vercelli, one of the best teams of the league, Juventus Under 23 lost 4-0 at home against Pistoiese. Mavididi played for 64 minutes on Saturday and tonight he will be part of Massimiliano Allegri’s side in Cagliari.

This is not the first time that the Juventus manager has included the former Gunner in the senior Juventus squad. The Englishman sat on the bench of the Allianz Stadium against Udinese before the international break in March. During that game, one of his Juventus Under 23 team-mate, Hans Nicolussi Caviglia (19), made his senior debut with the Serie A giants while a guy called Moise Kean netted his first two home goals with the Old Lady, only aged 19.

Kean, who has gone on to become a national idol thanks to his first two goals with Italy national team, is the only striker available for Massimiliano Allegri tonight alongside Federico Bernardeschi and Mavididi. The Old Lady has travelled to Sardinia with 9 players injured, five of whom are strikers: Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa. Allegri hopes to recover at least Dybala, Douglas and Mandzukic for the opening Champions League clash against Ajax at the Crujiff Arena next week and tonight he will play two of his three available strikers.

Kean and Bernardeschi are set to start up front with Mavididi ready to come off the bench although Joao Cancelo - if needed - will be Allegri's first attacking substitute tonight If Mavididi will fail to make his Serie A debut tonight, he may still have more chances before the end of the season, especially if Juve progress in Champions League. The Old Lady, in fact, only needs four wins in the last nine Serie A games to conquer their 8th successive scudetto. Juve will try to make the first one of these four steps tonight, Mavididi knows that if he won’t be given his chance in Cagliari, there could be more in the future.


Lorenzo Bettoni


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