Last month reports surfaced indicating that Arsenal were scouting Juventus youngster Moise Kean. As I described in a previous story, it was initially difficult to evaluate his talent because he hadn’t made his debut with the senior team. According to calciomercato.com, Kean “has five goals in as much games with Juventus’ youth team and managed 24 goals in 26 games with the U-17 squad last term.” Kean was the best player on the Juventus youth team and scouts was eagerly awaiting the day when he made his debut at the senior level.
With the match safely in hand on Saturday, Kean was finally given the opportunity to make his senior debut for the Old Ladys. ESPN FC notes that
“Kean, who was born on February 28, 2000, had previously been named to the bench five times in the league -- and twice in the Champions League -- by coach Massimiliano Allegri, but had never before made it into a game.”
Thanks to goals from Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic, and Hernanes, Kean was able to come on in the 84th minute against Pescara without fear of losing the lead. Since he was only on the field for six minutes plus stoppage time, Kean still lacks a large body of work to use in evaluating how effective he will be in the future—in Turin or with another club. Even though he didn’t create any chances, being used as a substitute indicates that Allegri trusts him to compete with the best footballers in Europe. Kean’s debut solidified his place in European football history since he was the first millennial to feature in a match (at sixteen years and nine months old).
Moving forward, it will be challenging for Kean to break into Juventus’ first team as a regular starter. Due to the amount of talent already on the squad, Kean should expect to be used primarily as a substitute. As he continues to gain experience, it is not unreasonable to expect that Kean will begin to see the field more often. If Arsenal are interested in acquiring Kean, Italian football laws make the next several years the best time to pursue him. Currently, Juventus cannot offer Kean a contract longer than three years—a deal that Kean has signed for about € 1 million a year. After this period, Kean’s talent will be apparent and Juventus will likely want to sign him for an extended period of time. Europe’s top clubs are interested in Kean but officials from Juventus are working quickly to negotiate a new extension, sensing the attention Kean is rapidly garnering. They are hopeful that Kean will eventually decide to stay due to his positive experience thus far.
With clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain pursuing Kean Juventus can expect a high return for Kean if they let him leave and join another club. However, with talented attacking players like Gonzalo Higuaín and Sami Kheidra already under contract Juventus could be content to reject any offers and to develop Kean for a starring role in the future. Right now it is unclear what Juventus plan to do with Kean. It will be interesting to follow Moise “Next Balotelli” Kean as he continues his rise in the Serie A or in Europe if he decides to make a move.