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The Other Former Arsenal Player Plying His Trade With Juventus In Italy

The Other Former Arsenal Player Plying His Trade With Juventus In Italy

Aaron Ramsey has already made a trip to Turin to see his next home after signing for Juventus on a free, but the Welshman won't be the only former Arsenal man to make the switch in the last couple of years.

20-year old Stephy Mavididi left the Gunners for the Bianconeri last summer after eight years in the club's youth ranks.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

He never made a first-team appearance for Arsenal and instead was loaned out to Charlton Athletic and Preston North End in League One.

Scouted by Giorgio Chiellini's brother Claudio, Mavididi scored six goals in 32 games for the Juve U23 team in Serie C but it wasn't long before he was in and around the first-team picture, watching Cristiano Ronaldo do his thing and trying to not get smashed by Chiellini and Bonucci.

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"I remember that first training session like it was yesterday. The first time I saw Ronaldo," Mavididi told BBC Sport.

"You have a split second to execute what you want to do, if not then Chiellini and Bonucci will come smashing straight through you,

"You have not got any time. I have learned to think quickly and do things quicker."

After being named on the bench twice by Max Allegri, Mavididi became the first Englishman since David Platt to play for Juventus when he came on as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat against SPAL in April.

Image: Stephy Mavididi
Image: Stephy Mavididi

It was a proud moment for the Derby-born youngster.

"I remember before the match, I was the last one out of the changing room and Allegri said 'are you ready?' and I said 'of course I am ready'," he revealed.

"I was itching to come on. Then in the 69th minute I entered the pitch and made by debut. It was a day I will never forget.

"For Allegri to put me on gave me a big confidence boost and showed that he had faith in me."

Juventus won the league a week later and though he never got a Scudetto winners' medal, Mavididi has been accepted by the Juve squad and formed relationships with the likes of Ronaldo, Blaise Matuidi and Emre Can.

"It is a really close-knit group, everyone is cool and there is good vibes, good banter," he added.

"I get on with most of them, Uncle Blaise [Matuidi] and obviously Ronaldo. He tries to give English banter but it is not that good - he is a good guy, very down to earth.

"Moise Kean is a good friend of mine and I get on with [Emre] Can and [former Arsenal team-mate] Wojciech Szczesny.

"The club make you feel really involved - it is a credit to everyone in the dressing room."

Topics: Football News, Football, Serie A, Italian Football, Juventus, Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey, Italy

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

 

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