Alessandro Matri, a key figure behind the Bianconeri’s first two Scudetto triumphs under Antonio Conte, has officially returned to Juventus this afternoon on a loan deal until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old, who arrives after spells at Milan, Fiorentina and Genoa, will provide Massimiliano Allegri with an experienced striking option following the departure of Sebastian Giovinco.
Matri is no stranger to Allegri’s methods and will be linking up with the Tuscan tactician for the third time in his career, having first worked together at Cagliari before renewing their acquaintance at Milan in the summer of 2013.
It was the striker’s performances in Sardinia that first attracted the attentions of the Bianconeri, who swooped to bring him in on an initial loan deal during the final hours of the January transfer window in 2011.
He instantly endeared himself to the fans by striking twice against his former employers in a 3-1 triumph at the Sant’Elia, before heading the winner in a Derby d’Italia clash against Inter a week later in Turin.
Nine goals in 16 appearances made him Conte’s first choice to spearhead his three-pronged attack at the start of the 2011/12 season, and Matri, alongside Mirko Vucinic and Simone Pepe, rose to the challenge – firing 10 goals as the Bianconeri overtook Milan to win Scudetto number 30.
Another 10 strikes were to follow in the subsequent campaign, including a crucial opener in Juventus’ 3-0 Champions League last 16 first leg triumph over Celtic at Parkhead.
After celebrating his second Scudetto-Italian Super Cup double in the black and white stripes at the end of the season, Matri returned to his first professional club Milan in 2013 where he struggled to recapture his goalscoring form.
Loan spells at Fiorentina and Genoa have since enabled him to get back on the goal trail and he will now be looking forward to offering his experience and natural poacher’s instincts to the wide range of attacking options possessed by Allegri.