The midfielders absence is a huge blow for club and country, with his boss acknowledging the gulf he leaves behind in his wake

Massimiliano Allegri has said he feels sorry for Weston McKennie after the Juventus midfielder was confirmed for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, adding that the U.S. national team star has “certain characteristics” within his squad that cant be replaced.

The 23-year-old was forced off against Villarreal in midweek with a foot fracture, which the Bianconeri subsequently confirmed will keep him out for up to eight weeks. He will miss crucial games for both club and country, including the latters final three World Cup qualifiers.

Juve head coach Allegri has spoken out on the injury – the latest in a line of blows to key men at Allianz Stadium – and has acknowledged that McKennie will be missed ahead of a crucial run of games in Juves pursuit of a top four berth in Serie A.

“Im sorry for McKennie, because he was fine and hes the only midfielder with certain characteristics,” the manager told his pre-match press conference ahead of his sides game with Empoli.

“Im so sorry for Kaio [Jorge]s injury, an injury thats very bad too. [Leonardo] Bonucci played in Spain and it was not expected. [Paulo] Dybala could return against Fiorentina.

“In attack, there could be room for [Moise] Kean and in that case, one would rest between [Alvaro] Morata and [Dusan] Vlahovic.”

McKennies absence is a cruel blow for Juventus – struggling to recapture the highs of Allegris first tenure in charge in Turin – but possibly even more critical for the USMNT ahead of next months games.

They have still not secured their place at Qatar 2022, and while destiny remains firmly within their own hands, their final run of fixtures presents a trio of potentially daunting tasks.

They face Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica – all sides still vying to make it to the World Cup too.

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