- Rumors about Dusan Vlahovic’s move become hot news every time he closes a giornata with goals. After it was reported that he doesn’t plan to extend his contract which will end in June 2023, big clubs such as Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur have become interested in his services, with La Viola reportedly setting his price tag at €80 million.
Let’s take a look at the pizza chart below to see what kind of striker Vlahovic is. When in possession, he’s not really involved in the build-up, he’s on the lower middle percentile on dribble attempts and the number of players dribbled past. Unlike his age mate Erling Haaland, who often exploits the space with his speed, Vlahovic is kind of a more traditional striker who becomes the target of the play.
His shots map below in Serie A since the 2018/19 season displays that the majority of shots are in the 16-yard-box with the higher quality of chances, something that strengthens the idea of his style as the classic striker. In this season, his xG/90 shows a total of 0.53 per game, the 7th best in Serie A. He’s also getting sharper each season, and his finishing is becoming even more clinical.
Often in games, you see defenders attempting to tussle with him constantly getting tight to him with his back to goal only to have him shrug them off. Defenders press up the pitch as he receives the ball in his own half as Vlahović uses them as a springboard to take a touch and swivel away, handing them off to bring the ball forward.
Defences in Serie A have not figured out that he takes a liking to defenders pushing touch tight on him as this is where he showcases his strength in holding the ball up which leads to advancing Fiorentina up the pitch. Especially in a team where he is trusted to be the spearhead of the attack, as Fiorentina commonly defend in a low block, drawing defenders to deep positions where he picks up the ball and driving past them benefits the team as Vlahović loses his marker and then can either take the ball further or spread the play wide.
Below are some crucial statistics where Vlahović is in the top ten of the league, showcasing his importance at Fiorentina. Some intriguing insights into the stats are the fact that he is 5th in Aerial duels won but has only won 43% of his aerial duels, meaning Fiorentina are certainly recognising the opportunity to utilise him in the air whether it be for flick-ons, goal kicks or even crosses, if he could up his aerial duel win percentage to say 60% with the number of aerial duels he competes in it would make him a more dangerous attacker.
At 21 years of age, Dušan Vlahović is proving that he has no problem in carrying the lofty responsibility of being the vanguard at an illustrious club that should really be doing better than mid-table. There could be possible suitors in the future, perhaps a bigger club in Italy beckons or a move abroad, although Fiorentina are looking to tie him down to a two-year extension until 2025 and increase his annual salary to €3 million, whilst protecting their asset with an €80 million release clause, per Calciomercato.