Weston McKennie signed with Juventus through June 30, 2025. (Photo courtesy of Juventus)
By Michael Lewis
Weston McKennie joined Juventus on a permanent basis Wednesday, in one of the largest transfer deals for a U.S. soccer player.
The Italian Serie A club obtained the U.S. men’s national team midfielder from Schalke 04 for $22.5 million, which is payable over three years. Juve then signed the 22-year-old through June 30, 2025.
The deal could increase an additional $7.844 million for the Bundesliga side, depending on whether McKennie achieves other conditions over the course of the contract. Those conditions were not revealed in the announcement.
In 2019, USMNT teammate Christian Pulisic transferred from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea for $73 million, a record for an American.
McKennie joined Juve as a loan player during the summer and came with an option to buy.
“The fact that Juventus have moved the permanent transfer deal for McKennie forward gives us more planning security with a view to next season,” said Christina Rühö-Hamers, Schalke’s director of finance, personnel and legal matters. “We wish Weston all the best for the future.”
McKennie joined Schalke from the FC Dallas Academy in 2016. He played 91 games for the Bundesliga side, scoring five goals and assisted seven. For Juve, the Texas native he has seven goals in 31 games. He already has won a medal with the club, the Italian Super Cup.
The Juventus website said that “McKennie’s adventure with the Juventus shirt started very well and, as they say, the numbers don’t lie.”
“Wes has proven to be a very important resource for coach [Andrea] Pirlo, having already put his signature on important performances and goals. It’s impossible not to think about his goal against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, or the one in the Derby della Mole – his first in the black and white jersey.
“It’s also important to note that he is also the youngest midfielder in this league with at least four goals, as well as the best American scorer in Serie A history. Six of the goals he has actively participated in (four goals and two assists), Juventus have always won.”
McKennie has scored six goals sin 21 appearances for the USMNT and his impressive play for Juve could make him an important factor in the Americans’ quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
“His style of play and his spirit are so important for a team. I was sure he would play an important role in a top team like Juve,” USMNT Gregg Berhalter said in January. “He has room for improvement, he is still so young. Surely, he has been improving at Juventus. When you play every day with big champions like Cristiano Ronaldo, you can only improve if you really want it, and Weston wants to reach the top.
“I always watch Juve matches, and this role is perfect for him because of his intensity and his late runs into the box.