Weston McKennie set to join Leeds United on loan — Jesse Marsch is building a USMNT club team

Top soccer reporter Fabrizio Romano confirmed on Saturday that Weston McKennie will leave Juventus for the rest of the season to join Leeds United on loan. The move does include the option for Leeds to buy McKennie permanently.

The loan move cost Leeds roughly $1.3 million and the set option to buy price is $35.8 million.

Weston McKennie Leeds Loan

Leeds wasn’t the only team in the market for McKennie as there were initial rumors of a move to Arsenal. Nottingham Forest and Fulham were also reportedly interested in acquiring the 24-year-old midfielder.

When American manager Jesse Marsch arrived at Leeds in February 2022 there wasn’t a single USMNT player on the roster. Fast forward a year and Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and now McKennie are all likely to be starters.

McKennie leaves behind a Juventus team with an uncertain future. The 36-time Serie A champions were recently deducted 15 points for issues surrounding the club’s transfer history. 

The investigation into Juve’s financial fraud could come back to haunt the American midfielder. Italian journalist Paolo Ziliani posted a report that claimed McKennie was one of 23 Juventus players who allegedly accepted to falsely lower their wages. If this turns out to be true, he could receive a 30+ day ban regardless of what club he plays for.

Financial issues aside, McKennie joins a Leeds United team in desperate need of help. The Premier League relegation battle is incredibly tight with three points separating 20th Southampton and 14th Leicester City. Leeds sits one spot behind Leicester with 18 points from 19 league games.

How Marsch utilizes McKennie will be interesting to see. The USMNT midfielder is a versatile player that can play almost anywhere. During his time at Schalke, he played nearly every position including striker, center back, right back, right midfield, center midfield and an attacking midfielder role.

Marsch typically uses a 4-2-3-1 formation. USA fans will have their fingers crossed that McKennie and Adams play alongside each other in the midfield. 

His debut for the club could come as early as Sunday, Feb. 5 when Leeds faces Nottingham Forest. Hopefully we see some of this McKennie magic.

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