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|SoccerAnchor Profiles: Mauricio Isla's move from Udinese to Juventus|
SoccerAnchor’s Rick D'Andrea takes a look at Mauricio Isla’s progression from the one Bianconeri side to another...
FROM: UDINESE TO: JUVENTUS
PRICE: €18.8 million
Mauricio Isla became much more of a household name after his exploits for South American nation Chile alongside Alexis Sanchez in the 2012 FIFA World Cup.
With both players dominating the right flank, La Roja made it out of the Group Stage and faced Brazil in the Round of 16, and were eventually eliminated. With Sanchez making the mega-money move to Barcelona from Udinese last season, it was his fellow compatriot's turn to take the next step, and Isla has joined Italian giants Juventus.
Isla showed his true worth to the Friuli-based outfit last season, as his running ability and intelligence with the ball led to Udinese being at the top of the table for the vast majority of the campaign. But a serious injury forced the Chilean to sit on the sidelines in February, and the Bianconeri began to implode, dropping points by the wayside.
Without him, the Bianconeri almost cost themselves a place in the Champions League play-offs.
Antonio Conte intends to use Isla in several positions: Firstly, he can be the back-up to Stephan Lichtsteiner on the right, or play as a left-back, the position occupied by Giorgio Chiellini for most of last term. But because of his speed and ability to track back and defend, the tactician may employ him as a right-winger in a 3-5-2 formation, meaning Simone Pepe may be used more on the left to help Emmanuele Giaccherini.
And with fellow Chilean Arturo Vidal in the line-up, the two already know how to work and play alongside one another, meaning the Turin Bianconeri could become even more imposing than their impressive record from 2011/12 illustrated. Having played in Italy for five seasons means Isla doesn't need to settle into the new league - only the club.