Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo says midfielder Weston McKennie is ‘more professional now’ than when he first arrived at the club as he claims the American youngster has lost weight
- Andrea Pirlo says Weston McKennie has lost weight since he first arrived
- The American has become a regular in the Italian’s Juventus team this season
- Pirlo claims McKennie has become ‘more professional’ as the season has passed
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has said United States midfielder Weston McKennie is ‘more professional now’ compared to when he first joined the club.
McKennie has enjoyed a productive season despite Juventus’ domestic difficulties, making 41 appearances since joining from Schalke in a loan move which was made permanent in March.
The 22-year-old is a key member of Andrea Pirlo’s squad, but the Italian says he was far from the finished article after leaving the Bundesliga.
Andrea Pirlo says Weston McKennie is ‘more professional’ than when he first joined the club
The American midfielder has become a regular part of Pirlo’s squad since joining from Schalke
As reported by Goal, Pirlo said during a press conference ahead of their clash with rivals AC Milan: ‘He has lost weight, something that we put in his head.
‘He is concentrated, and he is more professional than when he arrived. He must be 100 per cent and not 50%.’
The United States international has contributed six goals and two assists so far this season, and could pick up his maiden piece of silverware when Pirlo’s side take on Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final on May 19.
His move from Schalke was initially structured as an initial season-long loan for a fee of £3.9m, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.
McKennie pictured in his first Serie A game with Juventus against Sampdoria in September
The 22-year-old pictured this month is said to have lost weight since he first joined the club
Despite his initial weight issues, he went on to impress the club enough to make the deal permanent for a fee of £16m.
Going into their game with AC Milan, Juventus sit fourth in the table, level on points with their opponents who are fifth.
A defeat would see them fall out of the Champions League places with three games left to play afterwards.
The last time they failed to qualify for the competition was in the 2010/11 season when they finished seventh in Serie A.