Juventus new boy Dejan Kulusevski is a player that not too many football fans are aware of.
The 19-year-old Swedish international has impressed during his spell with Parma, bagging four goals and seven assists in 17 games. This form caught the eye of Maurizio Sarri, who has signed the youngster for a fee that could rise to €44m.
Kulusevski will see out the rest of his loan to Parma, where he spent the first half of the season, so he will not be making an appearance in black and white until the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
But with Kulusevski bursting onto the scene this season, many fans do not know what to expect when he arrives in Turin in May.
Kulusevski has shown on many occasions this season that he is capable of playing in various positions.
Utilised as a right-winger, central-midfielder and a striker in his 17 games this term, it comes as no surprise that Sarri was so keen to sign the 19-year-old. However, he has mainly been deployed on the right-hand side, which is his natural position.
All but one of his 11 goal contributions have come from the right-wing, which indicates that he is most effective in this position. However, he has only played two as a centre-forward, and likewise as a midfielder.
Promising Technical Ability
The Swede’s technical ability is what has turned heads this season. A great range of passing, as well as the tendency to dribble past his opponent has set him aside from the rest.
An average of 2.4 key passes per game and 79% pass success has correlated with his seven assists, showing that he cares more about the good of the team rather than his own statistics. 2.1 dribbles per game shows the confidence he possesses, on top of his speed and technical ability. It does seem that Juventus have a player on their hands.
Not only is Kulusevski technically gifted, but offers another dimension in the height department.
Standing at 6’1, the Swede can play as a physical striker as well as a tricky winger. Despite his height, he still possesses a great deal of pace and agility which allows him to beat defenders, but also that heading and strength advantage that so many wingers need, but do not have.
With no goals and one assist as a striker, it is clear that he alters his play style to bring others into the game. This is the type of player which Sarri favours, which explains why he rates the youngster so highly.
Now, his assists and technical ability have been mentioned a lot, but it goes unnoticed how unselfish he really is.
The youngster averages 27.9 passes per game, on top of the aforementioned 2.4 key passes. A player like this would fit into Sarri’s high-intensity passing system perfectly, especially with the versatility he possesses. However, he only manages 0.7 crosses, indicating that he favours a shorter pass or a one-two.