Leeds United have finalised a deal securing Weston McKennie on loan from Juventus for the rest of the season. The deal comes with a buy option after the season for €33 million. The 24-year-old arrived in Leeds today and, after a successful medical, the deal was made official.
Official, confirmed. Weston McKennie joins Leeds United on loan deal from Juventus for €1.2m fee plus €33m buy option clause and add ons. ⚪️ #LUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 30, 2023
Contract signed, deal completed. pic.twitter.com/E2Byg7HisP
McKennie played 70 games with The Old Lady over three years with 46 starts. This season, he has started in 13 of his 15 matches played. One of his strengths is his flexibility in positioning. In his first two years, McKennie roamed all over the pitch, playing on the left, the right, and as a central midfielder, as evidenced by his heatmaps per SofaScore.
However, this year, he has shifted over and played primarily on the right side for Juventus in both of their most-used 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 structures. In the World Cup, McKennie started all four matches of the US, and started three of them on the left side of the midfield, along with Tyler Adams who played centrally.
This move also completes a trifecta of American players in Leeds as he will join national team teammates Adams and Brenden Aaronson. Adams and McKennie have a well-documented close relationship on and off the field which will hopefully allow them to hit the ground running in midfield. A critical piece of the success of January transfers is fit and chemistry, so it should bring comfort to the club that McKennie at least knows how to play alongside Adams in a midfield partnership which should provide a strong starting point towards his integration with the squad.
Weston is loved for his tenacity by USMNT and Juventus supporters alike, something that Leeds supporters do not just appreciate but expect from their teams. The McKennie deal is another in a rush of Leeds moves as the transfer window closes and the club readies final preparations for the remainder of the Premier League season and their efforts to avoid relegation.