At 19, Pol Lirola has been the best fullback in the Europa League, and has already been tapped up as as Dani Alves’ long-term successor at La Vecchia Signora. Perhaps only Alves has been a better right back this season in Italy than the Catalan. With Juventus’ seemingly endless crisis, and Alves himself out for 4 months with a broken leg, Juventus would be wise to bring Lirola back early. Like Alves, Lirola is no one-trick pony; he treats crossing as an art, varying it between rapid, high, low and dipping crosses in front of goal. He is seemingly unstoppable, and he’s adding layers to his game with every passing match. Stephen Lichtsteiner, the man he’s set to replace in Juventus’ squad, has been a father figure to the young Catalan, giving him tactical and defensive lessons. Lirola’s performances for Sassuolo this season have been outstanding, and working under one of the smartest and most offensive-minded managers in Serie A, Eusebio di Francesco, will only improve his ever-growing skillset.
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