Weston McKennie
Juventus' Weston McKennie, right, and Atalanta's Jeremie Boga celebrates scoring during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Atalanta at Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy, Sunday Jan. 22, 2023. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)

Weston McKennie Moves To The Premier League

Yet another American moves to Elland Road. United States’ midfielder Weston McKennie has transferred from Juventus to Premier League club Leeds United.

McKennie’s move will initially be on loan, with a reported €1.2 million loan fee. The loan comes with a €33 million buy option, and add-ons could push the total package to €40 million.

McKennie has played 15 Serie A matches this season, tallying two goal contributions. The midfielder totaled 49 matches for Juventus following his 2020 transfer from German club Schalke.

McKennie’s sale was out of necessity for former club Juventus. The Turin club fudged the numbers on outgoing transfer fees, resulting in a wave of suspensions and sanctions.

In total, 11 executives received bans from the Italian Football Association. The club also saw a 15-point deduction to their current Serie A season, moving from 37 points down to 22. The loss put Juventus in 10th place on the season, and the club has since slipped to thirteenth following a 2-0 loss to Monza.

Where does Weston McKennie fit?

It is unclear where McKennie fits into Leeds United coach Jessie Marsch’s system. McKennie is a box-to-box midfielder, which Leeds’ 4-2-3-1 formation lacks. It’s unlikely that McKennie displaces the defensive-midfield duo of Marc Roca and fellow American Tyler Adams, who have both been excellent for the English club this season.

Another American, Brenden Aaronson, could be the one getting benched. Given Aaronson’s poor form, McKennie could easily slot into the attacking midfield spot, giving cause for his trademark runs into the box and progressive passing.

McKennie could also slot in at right wing for Leeds. The American played out wide frequently for Juventus, often taking on a hybrid wingback role. McKennie also played right midfield in the United States’ recent World Cup tie against England.

Leeds United is currently 15th in the Premier League table with 18 points through 19 matches. Leeds has not won a Premier League match since the Bournemouth match in November.

About Connor O'Bryan

Connor O'Bryan is a world soccer reporter for ESPN Gainesville. He also sometimes covers baseball and other sports. He has previously written for WUFT Gainesville and for Atrium Magazine. Connor also cohosts the "Off The Bar Podcast", a student driven podcast that focuses on the global soccer landscape.

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