Juventus have added yet another top-class center back to an already loaded defensive team as Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia is set to join the club from fellow continental heavyweights Bayern Munich.
The Bianconeri will bring the player in the player on loan from the German champions. The team’s official website announced the move on Thursday, stating that “Benatia joins Juventus on an initial season-long loan with the option for a permanent deal.”
Benatia joins an extremely talented side.
As of late, Italian giants Juventus have made a name for themselves in domestic and continental competition with a stifling defense. Under Antonio Conte and now Max Allegri, the Bianconeri have perfected the three-man backline.
Generally flanked by a pair of wingbacks and sitting in front of legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, the trio of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini have propelled the Turin-based side to five Serie A titles, three Supercoppa Italianas, a pair of Coppa Italia victories and a Champions League Final appearance against Barcelona.
Benatia will bring even more quality to the team, joining promising youngster Daniele Rugani, who is being brought along behind the starters, as above-average reserves.
Benatia's career so far
Benatia is no stranger to Italian football, having played for a pair of Serie A clubs before joining Bayern. However, he began his career in France in the Marseille system before moving to Clermont Foot. From there, he eventually earned a move to Udinese in Italy’s top flight. The defenseman was with the Zebrette from 2010 to 2013. Just as in France, the 29-year-old earned a move to a bigger club. He moved to AS Roma in 2013.
The defender was excellent during his time in Italy, but struggled for playing time in Germany. Benatia made just 42 combined appearances in the Bundesliga and the Champions League during his two-year stay in Bavaria. He bagged three goals and provided two assists with Bayern.
Role in Turin
With Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini still on the team’s books, Benatia will likely be a bench option for Allegri. However, with Juventus looking to claim the Champions League, as well as continue their domestic dominance, the veteran centre back should see plenty of game time.
Benatia becomes Allegri and Juventus’ third signing of the summer. He joins right back Dani Alves and ex-Roma teammate Miralem Pjanic as players new to Turin this season.