Serie A giants Juventus have announced their squad for this season's Champions League campaign, with midfielder Sami Khedira a high-profile exclusion.
Khedira has been struggling with injuries and lack of form for the past couple of seasons and was heavily linked with a move away from Juventus this summer.
Rejuvenated Juventus name strong squad for Champions League
Apart from Sami Khedira, there are no major exclusions. Juventus have been active in the transfer window and have focussed on strengthening the midfield under new manager Andrea Pirlo.
There has also been an aim to reduce the age of the squad, with Juventus bringing in young midfielders Dejan Kulusevski, Arthur Melo and Weston McKennie alongside forwards Federico Chiesa and Alvaro Morata.
Veteran squad members Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain have both departed for Inter Miami, but Juventus were unable to find a suitor for Khedira despite the Germany international being linked with clubs like Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United.
The 33-year old has struggled to establish himself in the first-team over the last two seasons due to a mixture of injuries and subpar performances. Having joined Juventus from Real Madrid in 2015 on a free transfer, he has made nearly 150 appearances in all competitions, scoring 21 goals.
However, Khedira has only managed a combined 35 appearances in all competitions in the last two seasons, and the arrival of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot further pushed him down the pecking order.
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo is said to be willing to let go of the midfielder and his omission from the Champions League squad comes as no surprise.
The Old Lady have drawn Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros in the group stages, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala all set to star for the Italian giants. Juventus have had several near misses in the tournament and were knocked out by Olympique Lyonnais last season in the Round of 16.
Manager Maurizio Sarri was sacked at the end of the season, with the surprise appointment of Andrea Pirlo announced a few days later.
While the focus will be on Serie A, Juventus will be keen to establish themselves as serious contenders for the European trophy with some strong performances against clubs like Barcelona.
Published 08 Oct 2020, 16:41 IST