Juventus starlet Pellegrini returns to Cagliari on loan

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The 20-year-old left-back spent the latter half of last season at the Serie A side, earning a €22m move to Juventus from boyhood club Roma this summer

Juventus’ young left-back Luca Pellegrini has rejoined fellow Serie A side Cagliari on loan for the duration of the 2019-20 season.

The 20-year-old, who has represented Italy at five youth international levels, joined Juve from Roma earlier this summer for €22 million (£20.1m/$24.4m), signing a four-year contract.

Leonardo Spinazzola moved in the opposite direction as the Italian champions brought in a player earmarked as a future first-team prospect.

He initially came through the youth system at Roma, his boyhood club after growing up in the Italian capital. He made six appearances for Roma, including two in the Champions League group stage, before impressing on loan at Cagliari in the latter half of the 2018-19 season.

Pellegrini was unlikely to break into the Juventus first team this season with Alex Sandro having a firm grip on the first-choice left-back spot. New signing Danilo, brought in from Manchester City in part exchange for Joao Cancelo, can also fill in on the left after helping to plug the gap at City left by the long-term injuries to Benjamin Mendy.

Despite his youth, Pellegrini is no stranger to such injury woes. Before he was out of his teens, he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, before fracturing his right kneecap as he fought back to full fitness.

But, represented by Mino Raiola and snapped up by Juventus, the promise he has shown despite these set-backs has seen him tipped by many as a long-term solution at left-back for the Italy national team.

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When on the cusp of the first team at Roma he was tutored by former City man Alexsandar Kolarov and has developed into a prototypical modern full-back. Quick, skilful and confident on the ball, he will hope that he can fit into Maurizio Sarri’s plans at some point down the line.

In the meantime, he could come up against Mario Balotelli in his first game back at Cagliari. They face Brescia on August 25 in their first league fixture of the season, with the forward having completed his return to Italian football over the weekend.

Juve, meanwhile, travel to Parma for their opening game on August 24, with Sarri looking to get off to a good start in his quest to bring a ninth consecutive Serie A title to Turin.

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