Weston McKennie outlines how playing in Serie A helped him avoid ‘running around like a headless chicken’ and admits the ‘cherry on top for Juventus would be the Scudetto.’

The midfielder had been set to leave the club after returning from a disappointing loan spell at Leeds United, but was told by coach Max Allegri he would play in more of a wider role on the right.

“It’s not really a role that’s new for me,” McKennie told DAZN after a 1-0 win over Napoli.

“I played it back at Schalke too, you could say I’m a Joker in the pack, I put the team first and don’t really care what role I’m playing. Obviously, I have a preferred role, but anything I can do to help the team, I’ll do it.”

The USMNT midfielder was asked how he has improved in Serie A after experiences in the Bundesliga and Premier League.

“The things I’ve learned here are definitely tactical. Playing in Germany it was more back and forth, the same in England, lots of running, but here it is very tactical, all about the position. That is something I needed to improve in my game instead of running around like a headless chicken and doing things I could’ve done easier.”

McKennie explains how Juventus have forged more of a team spirit this season by getting to know each other on and off the field.

“The spirit is very important, we try to stick together, have little dinners here and there to be around each other, to build a bond and a connection. I know how Andrea is off the field, Gatti too, what is important for them. We would run through a wall for each other, so when you see people throwing their bodies on the line to block shots, that is super important.”

The American has always amused in his post-match interviews with facial expressions showing his panic and this evening although he did not speak in Italian, he did try to understand the questions put to him in the language.

It resulted in him sweating profusely and mopping his brow, even on a freezing night in Turin.

“Scudetto? It sounds nice, it is a word that would sound even nicer if we get it at the end of the year. We haven’t accomplished it in past years, but we know that this is where Juventus belongs, it’s an important club with a lot of history, won it many times in the past.

“We want to do right by the fans, by the club and by ourselves. Ultimately, we want to be in the Champions League positions, but the cherry on top would definitely be the Scudetto. That’s what we’re going to try to do.

“We’ll try to take it game by game and try to take three points each weekend.”

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