According to Fabrizio Romano, Fiorentina’s director Joe Barone is adamant about Dusan Vlahovic being a Fiorentina player.
The striker is currently tied up until June 2023, and Fiorentina are currently working to extend his contract as soon as possible. This comes as a blow to many teams, such as AC Milan, who previously showed interest in the Serbian goal machine.
Vlahovic’s name had surfaced in the transfer rumour mill during the 2020 summer window, but a move never materialised. This potentially worked out in the Serbian’s favour, as he had a fantastic breakout season in 2020/21.
In 37 league appearances, Vlahovic scored 21 goals and provided two assists. He’s also only 21-years-old. Vlahovic’s time is now, but the future should only get better.
What makes Vlahovic unique is his skill set. He has the frame to resemble a typical aerial-threat striker who tends to be big but slow, but he’s extremely well-rounded on the technical side. Vlahovic is the perfect in-between mix of a tall finisher (such as Olivier Giroud) and a fundamentally sound skill-wise striker (such as Sergio Aguero). Of course, these kind of comparisons are premature, but it gives a proper insight into what Vlahovic may become.
He has the potential to be what Fiorentina fans originally thought Stevan Jovetic, another Balkan player, was going to become.
Fiorentina had an awful 2020/21 campaign, finishing 13th in the league. They’ll solely be playing domestic competitions this season. With that being said, now is the time for them to rebuild – especially if they’re going to extend and keep Vlahovic.
Gennaro Gattuso is the new manager in town. His gritty style, and decent success of the past, is a welcomed sight. Gattuso can certainly win and lead, especially seen in his playing career, so this is a smart hire for La Viola.
Outside of Vlahovic, Fiorentina have other young talents to build upon, namely Nikola Milenkovic and Gaetano Castrovilli. Milkenkovic is also Serbian and one of the top young defenders in Italy. Castrovilli, on the other hand, was a part of Italy’s Euro 2020-winning squad.
Fiorentina also have a strong crop of veterans. This includes Giacomo Bonaventura, German Pezzella, Jose Callejon, and others. Leadership and talent is readily available on the pitch.
Should Fiorentina keep their current players, whilst adding talent, they can certainly compete for a Europa League spot next season. Sure, there’s plenty still up in the air, but keeping Vlahovic is Fiorentina’s main step for a return to relevancy.