It’s never a good sight to see players get injured but in some cases, it could mean more game time for another. Sami Khedira is the latest victim of a spell on the sidelines and Adrien Rabiot could yet see more minutes as a result.
Juventus will be without midfielder Khedira for around three months after he underwent successful knee surgery on Wednesday.
As per the club’s website, the Bianconeri had earlier said Khedira would travel to Augsburg for the arthroscopic cleaning procedure in his left knee after missing Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Sassuolo.
Juve reported the operation was “perfectly successful” and Germany international Khedira could immediately begin rehabilitation.
The 32-year-old joined the Italian champions from Real Madrid in 2015 and has proved to be a useful player for the Bianconeri in that time.
While he may no longer be a dynamic box-to-box presence in midfield, manager Maurizio Sarri has been able to depend on the German throughout his tenure. Khedira is experienced at the highest level and diligent in his play.
What he may lack in dynamism is made up for in astute utilization of the ball and a growing composure. Khedira may not be a guaranteed starter for the Bianconeri, but his absence robs the manager of a consistent option, especially when it comes to important matches.
As per Whoscored, Khedira has made 17 appearances in all competitions for Sarri’s team this season amassing a total of 950 minutes.
Sarri can at least comfort himself with the fact that he has depth in central-midfield positions.
Miralem Pjanic is a gifted playmaker, albeit not stylistically similar to Khedira. The manager has the likes of Blaise Matuidi, Aaron Ramsey, Rabiot, Emre Can, and Rodrigo Bentancur available who can carry out similar jobs to Khedira, meaning Juventus should be capable of getting by without him.
However, the most likely player to get more action is Rabiot. The 24-year-old has had a topsy-turvy season since his move from PSG in the summer.
The midfielder left Ligue 1 in search of greener pastures but it hasn’t been all that green in Turin. Fitness issues, as well as intense competition, has limited Rabiot to a meagre nine appearances and 446 minutes of game time at Juventus so far as per Transfermarkt.
Earlier in October, It was even reported by Calciomercato that Rabiot was already contemplating his future away from Juventus after just two months at the club. It was said that he had become tired of being the odd one out in a crowded midfield and chances of action didn’t seem to be getting any better with passing weeks.
However, Ramsey has struggled with fitness issues of his own and has also missed out on the squad on a couple of occasions.
Can got the start in the 2-2 draw against Sassuolo, but he disappointed and was substituted after 54 minutes. Per the Bianconeri report on their website, Rabiot returned to full training on Tuesday, and he’ll likely get the nod against Lazio on Saturday.
It could be an important phase of his Juventus career as If he seizes the opportunity by the neck, Khedira might have a hard time displacing him when he returns back in March especially as the 32-year-old’s contract expires next season and Juventus would already be in search of a much younger option – Rabiot is a no brainer in that regard.
At 24, this is the moment Rabiot should be playing consistently and at the top of his game, so this is certainly a chance he must take.