Dusan Vlahovic has outgrown his Fiorentina surroundings and ready for a 'big jump' - Inside Europe
The Serbian striker is constantly the subject of transfer speculation and could be on the move from the Florence based clube sooner rather than later. Eurosport Italy's Paolo Pegoraro gives us the breakdown of what exactly any potential suitors will be getting from the player, as well as where he could possibly end up.
The link to Juventus seems an obvious one. Vlahovic bagged 21 goals for La Viola in Serie A last season but still trailed behind the 29 scored by a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in his final season with the Turin giants.
With the aging Portuguese superstar now gone, a space his been freed up in the Juve forward line – one that many believe will eventually be filled by Vlahovic.
“In Italy we think about Juventus as the best option and more concrete for him,” reiterated Pegoraro. “Juventus is looking for that kind of profile and really rate the Serbian striker”
“He is one of the hottest players in the league, ready for the ‘big jump’ in a top team.”
'A unique player'
The ‘profile’ that makes Vlahovic such an attractive option is that of the traditional number 9 – at 6’3”, he looks like the type of striker that almost feels like an endangered species in the modern game.
Vlahovic arrived in Italy from Partizan Belgrade in his home country back in 2018 and although goals were initially to hard come by, he eventually burst into life last season.
The football analytics website Breaking the Lines praises the 21-year-old for his strength and hold up play as well as his anticipation in and around the penalty area.
“[Fiorentina play] 4-3-3,” says Pegoraro. “He is centre forward. With Nicolas Gonzalez, Riccardo Saponara or Jose Callejon playing on the wings.”
With the vast majority of his goals coming from inside the box, the Breaking the Lines site says Vlahovic’s ‘cunning ingenuity’ what leads to him now finding the target so frequently.
“A unique player with a really strong left foot,” is how Pegoraro describes him. “Good in the air, and - overall - very strong body and good technique.
“I could say [he resembles] Haaland, but not quite at that top level maybe. A bit slower.”
'Conte knows him well'
With eight goals already this campaign, the feeling is that Vlahovic is outgrowing his surroundings in Florence and with his contract set to expire in 2023, the club could be ready to cash in as soon as January.
Pegoraro believes the player could leave when the next window opens but how much could be enough to prise him away?
“Price? [Fiorentino owner Rocco] Commisso wants €60 million (£51 million), but Juventus could offer 50-55.”
However, Juventus are not the only team said to be sniffing around the highly-rated hitman, with top Premier League sides also monitoring the player’s situation.
Daniele Rugani of Juventus FC and Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina battle for the ball during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and ACF Fiorentina at Allianz Stadium on November 6, 2021 in Turin, Italy.
Image credit: Getty Images
Arsenal are the latest name linked although will face competition from Manchester City among others. The Premier League champions’ pursuit of a striker is no secret following the failure to land Harry Kane from Tottenham in the summer.
Coincidentally, the other north London side are also keen on the player’s signature - either to supplement Kane or more likely, be his long-term successor.
Reportedly also on new Spurs boss Antonio Conte’s transfer shortlist, the Serie A link could swing things in favour of the Lilywhites.
“Conte knows him very well,” admits Pegoraro, who also suggests that a potential change of scenery would not be an issue for the player if he were to move to England.
“He would certainly be a fit for that kind of football. He could enjoy it. The Premier League could certainly be ‘his cup of tea’.”