As you can probably imagine, trying to write an article about a guy called Jesus is a task fraught with difficulties. Just as I start to type, all kinds of religious puns spring to mind and I become desperate to fill the article with hyperbole about how Juan Jesus is a gift from heaven to all Nerazzurro! However, I will try my hardest to keep them out.
Now all this isn’t to say that so far this season Juan hasn’t been, in my view at least, exceptional. The young defender has shown a great level of maturity and versatility at the back and shows no sign of letting up. These attributes were first demonstrated in his first full Serie A appearance this season away to Torino, in which he and Andrea Ranocchia dominated as the centre back pairing and in so doing, received some rave reviews from the likes of the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Unfortunately for Juan, Inter were to lose their next game, at home to Siena 2-0 which forced Coach Andrea Stramaccioni to change things around. This would result in Inter experimenting with a 3 man defence with Juan on the left hand side, Ranocchia on the right and Walter Samuel sat in the middle. Since this change Inter have won 4 games on the bounce and appear to have become much more settled and solid in defence.
This was demonstrated most recently in the resolute performance against Milan in the Derby when Inter had to hold on to their lead with 10 men for almost the entire second half after Yuto Nagatomo’s inexplicable handball. Although the headlines and the lion’s share of the praise were reserved for Walter Samuel, Juan delivered a very assured and dynamic performance; summed up by a diving, back heeled clearance.
All this is not bad for such a young player who is only in his first full season of European football. The Brazilian international, was bought by Inter in January 2012 but didn’t make his debut until the last minute of the league season against Lazio. Despite his relative lack of football during the league season he went on to help the Brazilian national team to silver at the London 2012 Olympics which must have surely provided more valuable experience of playing in high pressure matches.
At 21, Juan Jesus represents an extremely promising future for Internazionale as they try to overhaul an aging and overpriced squad with younger, hungrier and less costly players. So prepare yourselves for a few headlines hailing ‘Jesus’!
Written by Oliver
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