Allegri calls for patience as Pogba and Chiesa near Juventus returns

By Sports Desk October 20, 2022

Massimiliano Allegri ruled out Paul Pogba from his Juventus plans for Friday's clash with Empoli, saying it would be "pure madness" to rush the midfielder's recovery.

Juventus have been unable to field Pogba or Federico Chiesa this season, with the France midfielder undergoing knee surgery last month and Italy forward Chiesa suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in January.

Pogba was initially a doubt for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, although France coach Didier Deschamps was upbeat regarding his recovery earlier this week.

Speaking at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony, Deschamps said: "His programme is going well. The important thing is that he is cured, I think he will be, and this is already a good thing."

Despite both Pogba and Chiesa being pictured in team training recently, head coach Allegri said Juventus must treat their returns with caution.

"Let's see the real things, the reality today is that Chiesa and Pogba don't have them," Allegri told a pre-match news conference on Thursday.

"Chiesa did two training sessions with the team, Pogba trained temporarily, but very partially with the team. Avoid writing all that stuff there, you have a fantasy.

"Players have not even trained with the team [and you] write that after two days they are available. Fantasy is a power and it is very beautiful. Tomorrow they will not be there.

"I, too, would like everyone available, especially to make changes. With those we have, we will have a great match tomorrow, and we will prepare well for Benfica.

"Chiesa has already made progress. On Saturday morning there will be a friendly for Federico, to see how he moves on the whole field.

"Paul has done some partial work with the team, but we are on Thursday and until Tuesday there are four days. Damaging his work is pure madness."

After their meeting with Empoli, Juventus will have just three days to recover ahead of the decisive Champions League clash with Benfica, but Allegri would not be drawn on whether striker Dusan Vlahovic would be rested on Friday.

"Dusan, regardless of his goal, played one of the best games on a technical level [against Torino last week]," Allegri said.

"[Moise] Kean also did well, I'm happy with Moise because he's growing, he's physically better, and he makes himself available for the team above all.

"To obtain results, everyone must be available, and there seem to be good signs of this. Tomorrow will not be easy; among other things, they beat us last year."

Vlahovic has scored three goals in three Serie A appearances against Empoli, including his first league double for Juventus in February. The Serbian has also hit the net five times in five home league games this season.

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