Juventus hand Paul Pogba No. 10 shirt after Carlos Tevez exit
Serie A champions Juventus have announced that Paul Pogba will wear their coveted No. 10 shirt this season, taking over from the departed Carlos Tevez.
Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro Del Piero are just three of the former greats who have worn the No. 10 shirt at Juventus -- a number which carries a great significance to Bianconeri fans.
It had been reported that the number may not be issued this season, following Tevez's return to Boca Juniors, while many believed that it was being reserved for a big summer signing, such as Mario Gotze or Julian Draxler.
However, Pogba asked specifically to be given the shirt and the French midfielder will now use the number in the 2015-16 season.
"It's not easy because all the biggest names in the history of Juventus have worn the No. 10 shirt," Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri told a news conference in Shanghai, where Juve are preparing to face Lazio in the Supercoppa on Saturday.
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"Paul asked for this shirt and he will have more responsibility because wearing that shirt is not simple. I believe Paul's position is on the outside of a midfield three and maybe in a few years' time, he will play in front of the defence [in Andrea Pirlo's position]."
Pogba, 22, was the subject of an €80 million bid from Barcelona which was rejected this summer and, although he is contracted until 2019, the midfielder is attracting attention from the best clubs in the world.
Meanwhile Juve's summer signing Sami Khedira will wear the No. 6 shirt when he returns from a two-month injury absence and other new arrivals have also been handed their numbers: Paulo Dybala (21) -- the shirt worn by Pirlo in his four seasons in Turin -- and Mario Mandzukic (17).
Khedira is not the only Juve player who might miss the start of the season, with Giorgio Chiellini also doubtful and Alvaro Morata definitely absent.
"We had to start on the 20th [July] because we had the Champions League final on June 6 and the players on international duty only stopped on June 16," he said. "I'm sorry that Chiellini, Khedira and Morata can't play the final, but we're serene and we're waiting for them to come back.
"Remember Morata was out for two months last year -- this year it's only one so he's got away with it. I've got great staff and you don't get certain results, still running and playing good football right up to the very end, if you don't work well. We're trying to work out what the causes are, but you can always get three injuries."
With Pirlo, Tevez and Arturo Vidal all leaving this summer, Juve go into the fourth defence of their domestic title with a new look about them.
"Those who have left were mythical figures in football with careers rich in success," goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said at a news conference. "They formed the spine of this team. There's no real difference with those who have come in, as you'll see, but it always takes time to get to know each other and find an understanding. There could be one or two little problems along the way."