Why Dušan Vlahović has been the best signing of the January transfer window
On January 28th 2022, Italian giants Juventus raided league rivals Fiorentina to complete the signing of striker Dušan Vlahović. James McKenzie examines the Serbian’s impact thus far, explaining why Juve won the transfer window as a result.
The biggest fee of the 2022 January transfer window was the £62.8 million that saw Dusan Vlahovic move from Florence to Turin, as he joined Juventus from Fiorentina. While it may seem a hefty amount for a young striker with relatively limited experience at the top level, in 10 years’ time, this will be looked back upon as a bargain.
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left Juventus to rejoin Manchester United in the summer, it has been clear to all who have watched The Old Lady that the Italian club have been lacking that same explosive star power that Ronaldo had in abundance. No one else in the squad had the ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen when the rest of the team were lagging behind. With Juventus being a team on a steady decline following Andrea Pirlo’s torrid tenure last season, they really needed to recapture that mercurial spark. As such, they moved to secure the Serbian’s services in the winter.
Vlahović has completely rejuvenated Juventus, and they have not lost a game since the striker made his debut against Hellas Verona on the 6th of February. Granted, that unbeaten run has been littered with some draws, but considering that Giorgio Chiellini, Paulo Dybala, Denis Zakaria, Alex Sandro, Federico Chiesa, Federico Bernadeschi and Weston McKennie have all been sidelined with injury (with McKennie’s season being over already after suffering a cruciate ligament tear), Juve can afford some excuses. Despite it all though, Vlahović continues to deliver, firing Juventus through these choppy waters.
In all competitions, Vlahović has netted 24 goals and provided five assists in 30 appearances – some of the world’s top strikers would be proud of these stats. At 6’2, the Serbian has a velvet touch, an attribute that fans became instantly aware of as he scored on his debut against Verona. He boasts five goals in six appearances for Juventus thus far, and has shown he doesn’t shy away from the biggest occasions, as he scored 33 seconds into his first experience of the Champions League, away to Villarreal in the round of 16.
Not only that, but the starlet seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Moving up a level in the Serie A was a very smart decision, especially considering the ridiculous riches of the Premier League were knocking on the door in the form of North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. The Serbian evaluated his options, and realised a move to Juventus would prove to be much more beneficial to his career. The move also meant that there was no need for a period of adjustment he’d have experience by moving outside of Italy. He was allowed to pick up exactly where he’d left off at Fiorentina, but with better players around him.
One of his best qualities though, is his ability to make something out of nothing, that very same quality that Juventus have been lacking this season. It’s something that you can’t teach and considering the fact that he’s only 22 years old, you can already tell that he has the potential to be one of the top footballers in the world.
Ice-cold in front of goal, with fantastic awareness and a killer touch, Dušan Vlahović is already a name to remember and he has all the tools to become one of the best strikers around – if he isn’t one already, that is.