Chiellini suggests Akanji for Juventus future

Giorgio Chiellini suggests Switzerland international Manuel Akanji would be a suitable replacement for him at Juventus. ‘A spot is opening up soon when I retire…’

The Italy captain is expected to start tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier in Basel, at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

He spoke to Swiss-Italian station RSI about the game and which Swiss players he was particularly impressed with.

“I have always been intrigued by Akanji, as he still has something more to give and in my view he is approaching the right age to really reach his peak, but he still needs that final step,” said Chiellini.

Would he therefore recommend the 26-year-old Borussia Dortmund centre-back for Juventus?

“A spot is opening up soon when I retire, so there’s going to be room…”

That isn’t strictly true, as Chiellini has just signed a new two-year contract with the Bianconeri and is hoping to represent Italy at the 2022 World Cup.

“I am a player and also like a big brother to many teammates, due to my age and experience. The great thing about this squad is everyone adds their little ingredient to the recipe and makes the whole truly special.”

There should be 31,000 people at St. Jakub-Park in Basel tomorrow evening, approximately half of them supporting Italy.

“We’re happy, as we felt during the Euros so much affection from Italians abroad and those second-generation Italians. It makes you feel even more patriotic and proud to be Italian.”