The lowdown on Dejan Kulusevski, the Swedish midfielder who will join Juventus in the summer.
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Juventus have signed Atalanta's Dejan Kulusevski for an initial €35m fee, with the 19-year-old set to join the club in the summer, after spending the remainder of this season on loan at Parma.
Name: Dejan Kulusevski
Date of birth: 25 April 2000
Preferred foot: left
"When you analyse the data, he is always among the players who cover the most distance in every game. He has the right mentality because he has come through the great Atalanta academy. He has the potential to be a devastating player."
Parma coach Roberto D'Aversa
Born in Sweden with roots in North Macedonia, Kulusevski started at Brommapojkarna in the Stockholm suburbs before linking up with Atalanta in 2016. After a series of dominant performances in the Primavera youth league, he made his Serie A debut on 20 January 2019 in a 5-0 victory over Frosinone. The following summer he joined Parma on loan and a terrific first half of the season (four goals and seven assists in 17 games, plus a full Sweden debut) convinced Juve to act.
A huge basketball fan, Kulusevski is a box-to-box midfielder but can also play as a winger or wide attacker. He prefers to play on the right so he can cut in and shoot with his unerring left foot. He has strength, stamina, speed and a good passing range but perhaps his best weapon is a lethal change of pace which can leave opponents for dead.
"He has incredible physical strength," says experienced Italian coach Pierpaolo Bisoli. "He reminds me of a young Salah for the way he shakes off opponents in the first ten metres."
Areas of improvement...
According to Parma boss Roberto D'Aversa, Kulusevski just needs to learn to take fewer touches when he receives the ball, to become less predictable. Time is certainly on his side.
"Ibrahimović has been a role model for me. He has been for all Swedish players but mostly for us sons of immigrants."
"From the beginning my role was a trequartista ... I can be a winger, last season I was a mezzala [on the side in a three-man midfield], so I can play wherever the coach wants, but I see myself as a trequartista behind the strikers."