Allegri calls for patience ahead of Pogba's long-awaited second Juventus debut

By Sports Desk February 27, 2023

Massimiliano Allegri accepts it will take time for Paul Pogba to get fully up to speed as the midfielder prepares to make his long-awaited second debut for Juventus.

The France international has yet to feature for Juve since rejoining the club last July following his Manchester United exit due to a succession of setbacks.

He sustained a knee injury in pre-season that required surgery, forcing him to miss the entire season to date and France's World Cup campaign.

Pogba was on the substitutes' bench for Juve's shock 2-0 home loss to Monza in January, but Allegri opted against bringing him on and he has not featured in the squad since.

However, Allegri confirmed at his pre-match news conference on the eve of Tuesday's Serie A match with city rivals Torino that the 29-year-old is finally ready to play.

"He's feeling better and he's been called up for tomorrow's game," Allegri said. "If necessary, we'll play him. We know he won't have much playing time, but he can play.

"I've talked to him like I have all the others. He understands it's an important part of the season to get back playing. He must remain motivated to help us finish the season well."

Pogba, who signed a four-year deal with Juventus, has not played a competitive game since his former club United's 4-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool last April.

 

Allegri also confirmed Federico Chiesa, who has missed Juve's past two matches, is in contention to play against Torino.

"He trained with the team yesterday," Allegri said. "He can't start from the beginning. Players who come back from a long period of inactivity must be managed. He's fine, though.

"We have Pogba, who has not played for 315 days, and Chiesa, who missed 10 months. It'll take a little patience. It's normal – they're humans. We need to help them grow."

Juventus, who were docked 15 points last month following an investigation into the club's past transfer dealings, have won their past three Serie A games without conceding.

The Bianconeri are now eighth, 12 points off the top four ahead of their midweek Derby della Mole showdown with Torino, who are one point and one place further back.

Juve are unbeaten in their past 17 derbies in all competitions, with 13 wins and four draws.

"The derby is always an important game for both teams, especially for us. We must continue this climb by increasing our points in the league," Allegri said.

"This match has the value it must have. On the pitch, regardless of what happens outside, we have to get the points to stay in the top-four battle."

Not since April 1995 have Torino won away at Juventus, losing 11 times and drawing five since then.

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