Juventus hope Aaron Ramsey can replace Sami Khedira in midfield

Two Welshmen, two Englishmen, an Irishman and an Old Lady. It's not the beginning of a rubbish joke, but the history of our isles and Juventus
. The latest chapter should unfold in the summer, when the Vecchia Signora (Old Lady) welcomes a new boy from the Premier League
Half a year ago the Italian champions moved out big names including Gigi Buffon and Gonzalo Higuain, and released loyal servant Stephen Lichtsteiner. Portuguese duo Cristiano Ronaldo
and Joao Cancelo arrived and walked straight into the starting XI.
The revamp continues and the Turin club have identified Aaron Ramsey as the man for their midfield. The 28-year-old has agreed a five-year deal, and is viewed as the eventual heir to one of the squad's most popular (yet low-profile) players.
Sami Khedira has won the World Cup, Champions League and titles in Germany, Spain and Italy. Juve followers know what he brings and coach Massimiliano Allegri loves his former Real Madrid powerhouse. 
But the fragile German will be 32 in spring, and has always been unlucky with injuries. The volume of matches Juventus face every year is too high for Khedira.
The 77-cap international still has plenty to give, but many within the club believe ex-Cardiff player Ramsey will provide an alternative to the Mannschaft idol initially, then replace him outright.
Of course, much can happen between now and next season, and several influential calcio voices claim that Allegri will leave Juve if he guides them to Champions League glory on June 1 in Madrid. But if Allegri remains, or his preferred midfield three system stays, Ramsey would slot into the right of an already formidable unit.
Bosnian Miralem Pjanic operates in the middle, applying his shrewd, quick passing, and displaying his spikier qualities when necessary. The former Romanista and dead-ball specialist is Allegri's architect. Blaise Matuidi is usually to Pjanic's left and is the embodiment of an all-rounder.
The 2018 World Cup winner's remarkable energy and running power enable him to make an impact defensively and in attack. He has quickly established himself as a vital member of the side since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. 
Cropping up when least expected is his trademark, whether making a last-ditch tackle, or threatening in the opposition penalty area. Omnipresent Matuidi is a fusion of intelligence and supreme athleticism.
Uruguayan prospect Rodrigo Bentancur or Khedira himself complete the triumvirate. Former Boca player Bentancur has done a fine job this season after injuries to others gave him an extended first-team chance. He is growing in authority and ventures forward when possible.
But Juve want a specialist attacking midfielder, hence the Ramsey deal. 'Incursore' is the Italian term from a raider, who comes in from wide midfield (but not necessarily a winger) and makes things happen in the box. They evade their markers through impeccable timing or pace, and when they are very good can contribute between 10 and 15 goals a season. That's what the Bianconeri crave from Ramsey.
Ramsey won't be the first Welshman to wear the black and white stripes. Gentle giant John Charles is one of the most loved foreigners to play for Juventus, scoring 105 times in five seasons. Charles is still revered in Turin and Italy, where his sense of fair play was as admired as his footballing prowess.
Ian Rush spent a season in Piemonte too, in 1987-88. The slim striker didn't enjoy the success of Charles, but there were mitigating circumstances. It was a period of transition for Juve after a decade of unprecedented domination which delivered the European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Supercup.
Rush struggled, as did the entire team. Superstars had retired or been sold, most notably Michel Platini, Zibi Boniek and Marco Tardelli. Ageing skipper Gaetano Scirea and Antonio Cabrini were in the twilight of glorious careers. Rushie scored 14 goals in all competitions in an average side which finished the campaign in sixth place. Plus, Serie A boasted the planet's best defenders back then.
Two Englishmen fill out the black and white Brits. Winger William Jordan managed five league goals in his only season with Juve in 1948-49. Almost half a century later, competition for places was unforgiving for David Platt. 
The Italia 90 protagonist was battling Andreas Moller, Antonio Conte, Dino Baggio and Paolo Di Canio for minutes on the turf, and couldn't establish himself. But his application and attitude impressed Juve. Platty grabbed three goals in 16 league outings in 1992-93.
Then there's proud Irishman Liam Brady. He landed in northern Italy from the same club as Ramsey, Arsenal. Brady was a huge hit, before being sacrificed for Platini in the days when the number of foreign footballers were limited per club. If Ramsey can show even half the class and calmness under pressure that Brady did, he'll be just fine.
The Caerphilly-born schemer will enjoy the luxury of working in a group at the peak of its powers and peerless in domestic football - something Rush was denied. And although he might not replicate the fantastic feats of 'Long John' Charles, he'll have the perfect opportunity to continue the special relationship between the Old Lady and the Red Dragon.

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