Updated:Jul 7, 2021 9:26 pm
Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli is one of the most sought players during this transfer window with major interests from big clubs like Arsenal, Juventus, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The Italy international has been sensational this season both for his club and country.
He helped his Sassuolo side finish 8th in Serie A by scoring 3 times and assisting 4 times in 34 matches by playing in the midfield. He is now set to play in the EURO 2020’s final for Italy after defeating Spain in the Semi-Finals on penalties and can potentially win the whole tournament.
According to Sassuolo’s sporting director Giovanni Carnevali, Arsenal has already made a bid for Manual Locatelli but Juventus are still considered favourites to sign him as Locatelli himself want to join Juventus. In this article, we will look at what role Manuel Locatelli played for his club side Sassuolo, his international side Italy and then we will predict how his talent can be used by Juventus’s new head coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Manuel Locatelli’s Role for Sassuolo
Manuel Locatelli played as one of the double pivots in Roberto De Zerbi’s favoured 4-2-3-1 system. He was the hub of the team and had the responsibility to stick his team together. His high work ethic alongside a powerful engine allowed him to get up and down the field with ease. He has the energy to go deeper if his team was unable to progress ball but also has the license to help in the attack as De Zerbi’s fullbacks used to stay deeper allowing the double pivot to advance.
Manuel Locatelli’s Role for Italy
For his international team, Manuel Locatelli played a much more attacking and creative role. He was deployed as one of the two floating midfielders just ahead of the single pivot in Roberto Mancini’s preferred 4-3-3 formation. He showed his creative masterclass playing in this position by scoring 2 goals in 4 games and helping his country to reach the final of EURO 2020 by defeating Spain on penalties.
Check out the report for Italy’s Semi-Final game against Spain here.
Where will he play for Juventus?
What we can conclude from the above data is that Manuel Locatelli is an extremely talented and versatile player and can affect both the attacking and defensive aspects of the game at a very high level. I think he will most probably play as one of the double pivots in Massimiliano Allegri’s 4-2-3-1 system which he used in his last spell at Juventus.
One of the most underperforming positions in Juventus’s system under Andrea Pirlo was his midfield which was often criticized for its lack of quality.
The introduction of Manuel Locatelli to the team will provide much-needed creativity in the midfield without sacrificing the team’s defence. He can play as a double pivot alongside Arthur Melo if Juventus is against weaker sider as it will provide them with a much more attacking team while he can be paired alongside Rodrigo Bentancur or Adrien Rabiot against stronger sides to provide defensive solidity.