Massimiliano Allegri Urges Paul Pogba to Prove Himself
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says that the pressure is on Paul Pogba to prove himself worthy of the club’s No.10 jersey.
The France international has been a revelation since joining the Bianconeri from Manchester United in 2012, playing an integral role in three successive Serie A title triumphs, as well as last season’s run to the final of the Champions League.
However, Pogba has now taken on Juve’s No.10 shirt, following Carlos Tevez’s return to Boca Juniors, and Allegri says that the 22-year-old must do justice to a jersey previously worn by club legends such as Omar Sivori, Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero.
“Paul asked to wear No.10,” the Bianconeri boss told reporters on Thursday. “In this sense, he will have the greatest responsibility [of all of Juve’s players].
“Wearing this number will not be an easy thing because this jersey has been worn by the great players of Juventus.”
Meanwhile, Allegri defended himself against allegations that Juve have mismanaged their players during the summer, given Alvaro Morata, Sami Khedira, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli have all suffered muscular injures during pre-season.
“I’m sorry about the injuries to but we are calm about the situation and we hope to have them available again soon,” the former AC Milan boss added.
“It was necessary to start work on July 20. We had guys that had only stopped playing in June.
“We’re talking about footballers, not machines. I understand your alarm, but I’m the coach and the important thing is to be calm.”
Given Khedira, recently arrived from Real Madrid, has been ruled out of action, it has been reported that Juve could look to strengthen in midfield before the close of the summer transfer window, while the Italian champions have not given up hope on signing Schalke attacker Julian Draxler.
However, Allegri says that he is solely interested in Saturday’s Supercoppa Italiana showdown with Lazio in Beijing.
“There’s no sense in speaking about the market at this time because we’re only a few days away from our first appointment of the season,” he stated.
“It’s a delicate moment for us. Our preparations only started 20 days ago.
“We have prepared well in order to reach and obtain this first objective of the season.
“The important thing is to play a good game, which could last 120 minutes. We’re in good physical condition, though.”