Timothy Weah’s representative revealed the player turned down Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen as his ‘priority’ was always to join Juventus. The 23-year-old arrived in Turin this summer and has been gradually integrated into the first team, taking over from Juan Cuadrado on the right flank. Speaking with TuttoJuve, the players representative Badou Sambagué explained why the player always wanted to make the move to Juve, despite interest from other European sides:
How do you comment on his start of the season?
“Timothy’s start of the season is very interesting, he is growing. He is a player who needs to play to gain more confidence, we see that with the US and Juventus. He is gaining his place, he has integrated quite quickly’.
What kind of kid is Timothy ?
“He is a guy who listens, hard worker and very intelligent. These first steps into a new reality are very interesting. When he is 100 per cent and fully integrated, which is never evident at a big club like Juve, we will see him even more decisive and resourceful.”
What are his best qualities?
“He is an electric, explosive and dynamic player. Today he brings this serenity and calmness to his game, he is assimilating to life in Italy. He goes very fast, knows how to repeat his efforts, and is always a danger in the area of the pitch where he plays. He puts his opponent in trouble by attacking and tackling him one-on-one. He is gaining confidence, this is a very important aspect. Because when you come to a new country with a new language, a new league, a new style of play and new coach, it’s never easy. It is interesting what he is doing.
What has he not yet shown us on the pitch?
“He’s a guy with a very good technique, he’s something we haven’t seen yet because today he’s integrating within a collective but in the next games we’ll see that he’s a guy who loves exchanges, possession and depth”.
How is the relationship with Allegri? Do you think he is handling him in the right way?
“The relationship with Allegri is very interesting, it is in continuity with what has been done with his last coaches. They are able to make the most of his potential, they are also able to manage him intelligently. When you go to a club like Juve and with a coach like Allegri, there are important references and you feel that his experience will help Timothy a lot. And the boy has already started to learn. In the match against Ghana he was involved in three of the four goals, my thought is that Italian football is starting to contribute in an important way to his personal and professional development.”
Against AC Milan, with the absence of Theo Hernandez, could this be the right opportunity to start?
“All the players must be ready to play every game. In a team like Juve there are not only eleven good players, but it is the whole group that excels. That’s also what’s special about a big club: having players who are always on the pitch whatever the circumstances. Timothy works hard, when he was called upon – especially against Torino – he was ready. He played the full 90 minutes, despite not starting in previous matches. That means he works well in training, he must be prepared at all times. At Juve especially.”
What are Timothy’s goals this season?
“They are individual and team goals, but the latter come first. The club’s strategy is very consistent, but at Juve there is no time. Time is used in the best way, especially for young players like Timothy. His goal is to help the ‘Old Lady’ achieve the best results, in particular qualification for the Champions League’.
He aspires to find his place at Juventus
“He did it at PSG, at Celtic, at Lille. He is a guy who knows exactly where he is today. Personally, he wants to play as many games as possible, integrate quickly and be as good as possible at every opportunity. He is an intelligent and attentive boy: this will help him’.
Could he become a 10-15 goals per year player, a bit like his father George was?
“Timothy and his father are completely different in terms of characteristics, they would have been perfect playing together. He is not a player who will score 10-15 goals, he prefers more the group and the collective. If we ask him the question, he will say that he prefers assists to goals.”
Can you tell us how the first contacts with Juventus came about?
‘At the end of a match played against Rennes, in which he had played as a left winger, Matteo Tognozzi – whom I have known for 5/6 years -. wrote to me directly that he liked his game and that he wanted to see him again. He watched him several times, in fact, and later told me that Timothy could be the ideal replacement for Cuadrado. There were many messages, what I always appreciated was the real seriousness and the word given. Juve, from the beginning to the end of the negotiation, showed great professionalism. The level was really top notch.”
We know that many clubs were on Weah last summer. What convinced him to choose Juventus?
“Many clubs such as Atletico and Leverkusen were interested in Timothy, but his priority was always to go to Juventus because he knew the club, he followed it and inquired about it. So fast, concrete and effective, no one could make him change. What convinced him was the history of the club, as well as the great attraction he always had for the boy. He wanted to be able to work with a staff like the bianconero one, made up of first-rate professionals who immediately believed in him like Matteo Tognozzi and Giovanni Manna: they were decisive in recruiting him. The word is very important among the Weahs. And the intention of the sports management was to close the deal. This commitment was a strong element in his final decision, even though he already aspired to play for Juventus.”