Monday Apr 06, 2020. 11:00
Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia has backed Miralem Pjanic to remain with Italian giants Juventus.
The Bosnian midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Serie A leaders, with Paris Saint-Germain said to be keen on the 30-year-old.
However, Benatia – who played alongside Pjanic at Juve – believes the Bosnian is a key element in the style deployed by manager Maurizio Sarri.
“He’s among the Bianconeri players with the most appearances. He has also adapted to a new tactical system and since Sarri came, Juventus have often played with a trequartista behind the two strikers,” the Moroccan is quoted by Tuttosport.
“He had to run a lot, just like Matuidi. Both confessed to me that they were exhausted. That’s hard for everyone. Less ball possession and more running. In the end, he injured his adductors.
“I understand that Sarri wants him to play the ball more, but he must be physically well for the team to benefit. Mire is always able to find you in position when the opponents press. He has more quality than the others.”
Benatia added that Pjanic can be too hard on himself, but believes that the current break in the season due to the coronavirus crisis will allow the midfielder to recharge his batteries and prove his importance to Juve once again.
The former Morocco captain added, “Pjanic also self-criticise[s], he doesn’t get angry if he is replaced knowing he is not playing well. He will try to recover his contribution. He is the first to take it out on himself.
“At the end of a game I called to compliment him, he was nervous and told me he had played a bad game because he lost possession in two dangerous situations.
“This break will do Pjanic good; he can return to be the best in Italy and among the best in the world.
“He still has three years left on his contract and he’s fine at Juventus, but it’s true that he has the possibility to leave in every transfer market, PSG are interested in him, earlier, even Real Madrid was looking at him but, in the end, he extended with the Bianconeri.
“His love for Juventus prevailed, where he feels confident. In the dressing room he is one of the senators, he knows how to make himself heard and respected.”