13.06.2016 18:30 - in: Official statements S

    Miralem the Magician

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    What will Juventus be getting from new arrival Miralem Pjanic? Among other things, set-piece perfection, unrivalled vision and guaranteed goals and assists…

    The transfer of Miralem Pjanic from Roma on a five-year deal sees the arrival of a wholly proven and immense midfield talent in the Italian game.

    Before even looking into the details of Pjanic’s track record across spells with Metz, Lyon and Roma, a handful of statistics from the Bosnian’s five-year stay in Italy’s capital more than suffices to demonstrate the calibre and astonishing creative powers of the player now on Juventus’ books.

    Nobody has made more Serie A assists than Pjanic in the last three years (28) nor equalled his feat of reaching double figures for both goals (12) and assists (12) in the 2015/16 season. The Bosnian also stands out as the only player to have provided 10 or more goals for team-mates in consecutive Italian top-flight campaigns.

    The midfielder deservedly arrives in Turin with a reputation as one of the most consistently dangerous playmakers in Europe, a status born not only from an inherent ability of conjuring something from nothing but also from a knack of making the game look remarkably easy.

    Such an impression is fruit of the 26-year-old’s unrivalled qualities from dead-ball situations with Carpi, Empoli, Torino, Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus themselves all suffering at the hands of the Bosnian’s ability from free-kicks, but it would be wrong to refer to Pjanic as simply a set-piece specialist. With a feather touch and stunning range of passing, the midfielder has the technique to carve open opposition defences from anywhere in the final third, as demonstrated by May’s superb dinked assist for Stephan El Sharaawy against Milan in the final fixture of the season.

    Pjanic also boasts fine dribbling skills, which initially caught the eye when the youngster made his first steps into professional football with French side Metz, with whom he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2007 having joined the club as a junior from Luxembourg outfit Schifflange.

    The midfielder’s fearless performances saw him become at the time the youngest ever Bosnian to receive an international call-up in a friendly – against Bulgaria in August 2008. An impressive maiden Ligue 1 campaign would see Pjanic snapped up by Lyon and it was there that his rich promise was given the platform on which to flourish.

    The playmaker impressed especially in Europe as he played an integral part in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in the 2009/10 season, scoring five times in the competition including a crucial equaliser against Real Madrid in the last 16.

    After making 122 league appearances in France, the Bosnian headed south to continue his career in Serie A with Roma coming calling in August 2011. Upon establishing himself as a central figure in the Giallorossi’s plans from his very first day in the capital, Juve’s new signing would save his most productive season to date for what has proved to be his final campaign at the Stadio Olimpico.

    Goals and assists aside, Miralem convincingly outstripped his contemporaries across the board for chances created per match (2.42), streets ahead of the average for Serie A midfielders (0.98), successful forward passes (55.58 vs. 28.58), accurate through balls (0.55 vs. 0.12) and shots on target (0.82 vs. 0.32).

    All of the above points to just one conclusion: in Pjanic, the Bianconeri have secured the services of one of the best attack-minded players in the country who, at 26 years old, is approaching the peak of his creative powers.

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