With Phillip Lahm set to retire this summer, and Dani Alves nearing the end of his career, there is a dearth of world class right-backs around European football. Juventus already have a potential successor to Alves on their books in Pol Lirola, and the early signs are he could become the next great right-back in European football.
Lirola reportedly turned down moves to Manchester City and Barcelona in favour of joining Juventus from Espanyol in the summer of 2015, and that decision has paid off with the Catalan gaining top level first team experience in Serie A and the Europa League during the first season of a two-year loan spell with Sassuolo.
‘I grew up with the legend of Lahm, but I see more of myself in Dani Alves’ said the 19 year-old, and it’s easy to see why with Lirola’s attacking instincts and all action style a key feature of his game . I Neroverdi have a number of good young players on their books, with Domenico Berardi and Lorenzo Pellegrini both in the thinking of Azzurri manager Gian Piero Ventura, and Lirola has thrived in the environment created by manager Eusebio Di Francesco.
Lirola is expected to return to Juventus in the summer of 2018 after a second season gaining more experience in Modena. If he keeps improving, he is likely to become a member of the Bianconeri first team squad, and Juve fans will be hoping he can eventually develop into a player capable of emulating his hero Dani Alves.