From Turin to Paris? Dusan Vlahovic (21), Juventus
It took Vlahovic a while to reach the pinnacle of football as dreamed by most kids starting their careers around the world. Only, you know, Vlahovic is still 21 yearsold.
All of the above, while confounding, is very true. That’s because Vlahovic started his professional run with Partizan in Serbia scoring one and assisting another goal in 2015/16 over 300 minutes of play, at age 15.
Things went down a year after that (only 125 minutes played, no goals nor assists) but Fiorentina clearly saw the potential in Vlahovic’s boots and didn’t hesitate to pony up more than €3m for the super young Serbian forward. Talk about a bargain.
Four full seasons in Florence helped Vlahovic turn into one of the most coveted strikers in Europe. After missing the full 2017/18 season, Vlahovic came back for a gear-up campaign and then went on to demolish Serie A north and south with 6, 21, and lastly 17 goals for the I Viola before getting sold to Juventus for a bulky €81.6m fee.
As was the case with Romelu Lukaku after moving to the team that saw him become a Serie A legend, Vlahovic has experienced something similar in Turin. He went from otherworldly to plain earthly.
Vlahovic contributed 7+1 goals and assists last season after signing with Juventus at the end of last January after having netted 17+2 for Fiorentina in the first 21 games of the season. On a per-90-minute basis, he went from producing 0.92 goal-scoring contributions to just 0.67.
The drop in personal production and the clear downward trajectory Juventus are following this season (3W, 4D, 1L in eight games this season; one win in the past four matchdays) have put Vlahovic’s name in the rumor mill even though he joined his current club less than a year ago.
Juventus don’t want to give up on the young forward this early in his black-and-white tenure, but with Max Allegri not excelling at his job and a potential coaching change you never know which decision could be around the corner.