After Juventus lost 4-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final of 2017, it was patently obvious that, while they had made a great deal of progress on many fronts, they were sorely lacking the kind of quality in midfield that was required to succeed at the very highest level.
Their two-man midfield in a 4-2-3-1 devised by previous boss Massimiliano Allegri was comprised of Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira, while the La Liga outfit could boast a trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro, an infinitely more dynamic and creative centre.
While there is no denying that Pjanic is one of Europe’s very best midfielders, Allegri tended to negate his best qualities by focusing on his defensive attributes, while an often-injured and ageing Khedira was nowhere near his World Cup winning best.
That summer, the Old Lady brought in France international Blaise Matuidi to bring some fresh feet to a stale central area, but it was still not enough for their ultimate goal of winning the Champions League, as they were eliminated in the quarter-final. It was Real Madrid once again that proved to be Juve’s kryptonite, prompting the club to roll up their sleeves and go big in the summer that followed.
In came Cristiano Ronaldo for a mammoth fee, but they also recognised a further need in the midfield, making the astute capture of Emre Can from Liverpool. The Germany international described his arrival at Juventus as “one of the biggest days of his life” as he could “see how big the club is,” but 18 months later, and it has all turned sour.
“I think you should never say never,” Can told Bild earlier this week when asked about a potential return to Bundesliga. “I’m not happy with the situation in Turin, and it has to change somehow. We have to find a solution.”
This was the latest in a series of public complaints from the 25-year-old, the German midfielder seeming to speak to the press at least twice per week during the last month. His behaviour is bound to be unimpressive from the club’s perspective, as Juve normally keep a tight lid on what is revealed to reporters.
Yet Can’s frustration is understandable, as a change of Coach from Allegri to Maurizio Sarri has seen his playing time reduced to almost zero. After 35 appearances in all competitions last term saw the former Liverpool man play a total of 2141 minutes, this season he has featured in just 171 minutes of action with almost a third of the campaign over already.
Indeed, Sarri made his intentions perfectly clear when he left Can out of the Champions League squad back in September. “It’s normal that when a player suffers because of a strong and radical decision, there’s an emotional aspect to be taken into account. We must give him the opportunity to get everything off his chest. I’m at the right age to understand his reaction.”
It’s not easy to understand exactly why the new Juve boss still prefers Khedira to Can, however when Juve remain the only side unbeaten in all competitions in Europe’s top five leagues there’s no discussion to be had.
For this reason, we can say almost certainly that Can will leave the club in January, in order to find a club where all parties can be happy with his contribution. The midfielder very obviously has plenty to give, he just isn’t the right fit for the ultra-precise Sarri.
There are a number of transfer specials available via BetVictor, but given that the player himself has spoken about a return to the Bundesliga, a bet on a German club certainly makes the most sense. Currently struggling for results and sitting sixth in the league, a move to Borussia Dortmund could well be on the cards for Can, a bet which is available at decent odds of 5/1.
Indeed, SportBild has linked BVB with a €26 million double swoop for Can and fellow Juve reject Mario Mandzukic. Speculation has also linked the midfielder with a move to Bayern Munich, a bet available at longer odds of 12/1, something which could also be worth a punt on this occasion.
For all the reasons listed above, it seems almost certain that Can will move on this January, it’s just a simple case of putting your money on his destination.