Did you Know?
On 13 June 2016, Pjanić joined Juventus on a five-year contract for a fee of €32 million, ending a five-year stint with Roma. He chose the number 5 shirt to start the new season. On 10 September, Pjanić scored on his debut in a 3–1 home win over Sassuolo. After winning Coppa Italia and Serie A in his first season, he missed out on treble, having lost in the Champions League Final to Real Madrid. Nicknamed “il Piccolo Principe” (“the Little Prince”) during his time with Roma, Pjanić was regarded as one of the most promising young midfielders of his generation in his youth, and was included in Don Balón’s list of the 100 best young players in the world in 2010. His Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri touted him as a potentially world class midfielder in 2016, later also adding that, although he was extremely talented, he needed to stay more “calm and focused” in order to fulfil his potential; consequently, the 2016–17 season saw him establish himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe. Although he is neither particularly quick, nor gifted with athleticism or physical strength, Pjanić has been described as an efficient “old-fashioned playmaker with huge technical qualities”. A talented, creative and tenacious midfielder, Pjanić is usually deployed in a central midfield role, or as a deep-lying playmaker in front of the back-line, although his tactical versatility, defensive awareness, and work-rate enable him to play in several midfield positions, and he has also been deployed in more advanced roles as an attacking midfielder, and even as a second striker on occasion. Pjanić’s main attributes are his range of passing, dribbling skills, and vision, which make him an excellent assist provider, and also enable him to dictate the tempo of his team’s play in midfield and orchestrate goalscoring opportunities for his teammates. Known for his eye for goal from midfield and striking ability from distance, Pjanić is also known for having the capacity to get into good scoring positions by making late attacking runs into the penalty area from behind. A renowned set-piece specialist, he is highly regarded for his accurate, bending free-kicks, as well as his delivery from dead-ball situations; in 2015, he was described as the best free-kick taker in the world by renowned set-piece specialist and former Lyon teammate Juninho. Pjanić’s precocious talent, playmaking skills, and ability to score many goals from free kicks saw him labelled as a potential heir to Juninho at Lyon.