2014 World Cup winning defender Benedikt Howedes has joined Juventus on a season long loan from Schalke 04 after the Old Lady lost Leonardo Bonnuci and Dani Alves early in the summer transfer window.
Benedikt Howedes has spent his entire career at Schalke 04, after joining them as a teenager and was the captain of the German national team. The 29-year-old has ventured away from the Bundesliga for the first time and Juventus has paid an initial fee of £3.2 million for the loan spell. But if the German international makes 25 appearances for the club then, Juventus will be obligated to exercise his purchase option at £12 million, plus another £3 million in bonuses.
While many had tipped the Howedes to finish his career at Schalke 04, like a certain Roma man and after he signed a contract extension in 2016, things looked set in stone. However, the 29-year-old has fallen down the pecking order under new Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco.
Tedesco earned his stripes via Hoffenheim’s coaching system before joining Schalke at the start of this season, stripped Howedes of the captain’s armband and then benched Bundesliga’s the former captain for the opening games of the season. Howedes was linked to a move to England, with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp interested 29-year old’s services, but the German defender had his heart set on Turin.
During his unveiling press conference, Benedikt Howedes said “I think Juventus are one of the five biggest teams in the world, so it’s a huge honour and privilege to be part of a team like this. I think I can certainly have fantastic years here and I’ll definitely try.”
He further added “Many great Germany stars have already played for Juventus and Khedira is here now. Anyway I made my decision without thinking about Juventus’ former players. It’s been a quick negotiation. I was contacted by Juve seven/ten days ago and I am happy to help the team now. I had been playing for Schalke for 16 years and that’s my first experience in a foreign country.
At the end of the day I want to have a good experience here in Turin, and there’s no doubt that it’s nice to have Sami by my side, someone who can give me great advice.”
Benedikt Howedes, while brought in to fill the void Bonnuci left when he made the switch to AC Milan, wants to be judged on his own merit and has promised to give his everything to the Old Lady.He said in an interview with Juventus TV “I do not think it is appropriate to be compared to Bonucci, I am a different player and a different person and I want to be judged for my performances. I will definitely give you everything I can to make the most of Juventus.”
A fairly experienced centre-back and a World Cup winner with Germany, Howedes would make an excellent replacement and also has the ability to play as a left-back. Howedes, according to WhoScored, averaged 2 tackles a game and lead Schalke 04 in interceptions with 3.8 a game. However, while the German international isn’t a natural left-back, it’s his tactical astuteness as a centre-back that will help Juventus retain their Scudetto.