Juventus have made their third big summer signing by capturing Morocco captain Medhi Benatia on loan from Bayern München; UEFA.com discovers what the centre-back can offer.
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After signing Miralem Pjanić and Daniel Alves in the last few weeks, Juventus have completed their third big deal of the summer by picking up Morocco captain Medhi Benatia from Bayern München on a €3m season-long loan, with an option to make the deal permanent for €17m.
The 29-year-old centre-back, who shone at Roma in 2013/14 before moving to Germany, adds further coverage to an already stellar defence. With Martín Cáceres leaving as a free agent, Benatia will definitely be in contention for a starting place in the Bianconeri back line – the well-known BBC – and will also act as an attentive tutor for 21-year-old Daniele Rugani as well. After successful spells at Udinese and Roma, UEFA.com explains why he could be the right man, in the right place at the right time.
Eye on Europe
Bayern ended Juve's 2015/16 UEFA Champions League aspirations, knocking them out in the round of 16. Two years in Bavaria have been pure gold for Benatia in terms of mental growth; at Bayern winning is the only option, season after season, and dealing with such expectations made the defender psychologically stronger. His qualities as a marker have never been in question; he's dominant in the air and always dangerous from set-pieces. His profile seems to fit perfectly with Juve's ambition to rule the Europe after five successive Serie A titles.
Searching for fitness
Benatia's stint at Bayern was full of ups and downs. A talented defender and world-class marker, he was plagued by injury. The Moroccan is still in search of the form that he made him a key player in Roma's fortunes a couple of seasons ago. He leaves Bayern with 29 appearances and two goals over two full seasons: not enough to become the cornerstone of Josep Guardiola's back line. But if he can return to top condition, Juventus should be the stage for his renaissance.
Joining the BBC
At the beginning it was the BBC: Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. Then it became the BBBC, with the well-deserved addition of goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon to a defensive line-up considered by many to be the best in the world. Now a further 'B' is ready to be added and even if seeing the full BBBBC on the pitch at the same time is unlikely, Benatia is going to be a wonderful option when the Bianconeri have a game every three days and the squad is stretched.