How could Juve afford such a blow?
Might as well start with the one everyone is asking. In total, the Old Lady should pay no less than 150 million euros for Dusan Vlahovic. In detail: 70 million euros transfer payable over three years + 10 bonus, a net salary of 7 million euros per year until 2026, or 60 million euros (gross). Not to mention the 11.6 million euros for the FIFA solidarity contribution and incidental expenses. Not really crumbs.
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Juventus, owned by the Agnelli family and listed on the stock exchange, had however announced a net loss of 209.9 million euros for the 2020-2021 season, a record. In addition, turnover fell by 16%, due in particular to almost non-existent ticketing revenue, the matches having been played behind closed doors following the measures taken by the Italian government to contain the pandemic. The Covid-19 would have cost the Piedmontese club 320 million euros, which will impact the 2021-2022 economic balance sheet by 40% (130 million euros). Another fact: the cost-revenue balance is far from balanced. “Sporting expenses (club operations, salaries, etc.) represent 75-80% of net revenue from the transfer window“, wrote The Gazzetta dello Sport.
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Is Vlahovic a crack?
The answer is yes. And Juve knows it. After having exploded under the orders of Cesare Prandelli, Vlahovic is probably establishing himself as one of the scorers of the decade to come with Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé. In the last two seasons (since 2020-2021), he has scored 38 goals in Serie A. In the five major leagues, no one has done better apart from Robert Lewandowski (64 goals), Erling Haaland (43 goals) and Karim Benzema ( 40 goals). The Serbian international broke record after record with the Viola, beating legends like Gabriel Batistuta and Luca Toni. Before him, the last player under 22 to score 17 goals in 22 matchdays was Paolo Rossi with Vincenza in the 1977-78 season.
But his profile does not stop at that of a simple goalscorer. Vlahovic’s palette is vast: from his athletic power to his technique, from his speed to his pivoting game, from his vision of the game to his striking power… With him on the pitch, Juve now have a attacker capable of filling the attack on his own. From the status of crack, the one who will wear the 7 could soon pass to that of champion. Provided that he is present on the European scene, a great first for him. “He is the best youngster on the planet with Haaland and Mbappé, estimated Gianluigi Buffon on Friday in the columns of The Gazzetta dello Sport. He has something different. He is the evolution of number 9, he is physically solid and dynamic.”
Why did he choose Juve?
The courtiers were numerous. Dusan Vlahovic had several offers, especially in the Premier League. The most interested club? Arsenal, ready to pay more than 70 million euros for him. But the principal concerned has never been thrilled by this possibility. In Spain, Atlético Madrid were still watching him after the many attempts last summer. The now ex-scorer of the Viola, however, wanted to stay in Italy. It was his priority. When the Bianconeri accelerated, he did not hesitate. It was probably the only transalpine club that could afford such a blow. Inter changed their policy, AC Milan maintained theirs and Napoli recently spent 71.3 million euros (excluding bonuses) on Victor Osimhen. If Juve has not been sovereign in the Boot for two seasons now, its aura remains intact. It fascinates any player. Vlahovic is therefore the last to have fallen under the spell of the Old Lady. For a whole club and its supporters, this arrival is synonymous with renewed enthusiasm, confidence and ambition. Everyone needed it.
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Why did Fiorentina part ways with Vlahovic in January?
Very clever one who would have bet on a departure from Vlahovic at the beginning of January. A week ago, no one would have imagined such a scenario. The first opening came on January 24 with a statement from Fiorentina general manager Daniele Pradè to SportItalia. “Our doors are open, he announced. Even for these last days of January. We can’t afford to lose him at the end of the contract, we have to understand what the player and his entourage want.”
The dialogue broken with the entourage of the player for several months, in particular because of certain requests during the negotiations for his extension, the Viola had initially planned to part with him next summer. But with her contract expiring in 2023, she realized that time was not really on her side. Ideally, the entire Florentine management would have preferred to sell it abroad. As often, the will of the player was ultimately decisive. Here he is now on the side of the enemy of the Florentine people, who thought they had already suffered enough with the departures of Baggio, Chiesa or even Bernardeschi. The calyx to the lees.
“We currently have an annual turnover of around 75 million, we cannot afford to risk losing him for free at the end of his contract in June 2023“, justified the leader of Fiorentina, who had taken care to replace his now former striker beforehand. Krzysztof Piątek arrived on loan on January 8, while Arthur Cabral, in force with FC Basel, will land for 16 million euros, bonus included.
Which system will Massimiliano Allegri use?
With 17 goals in 21 matches, Dusan Vlahovic will change the face of Juve’s attack, which alone has scored double… since the start of the season. The Serb scores every 103 minutes. His chances are almost all converted with an achievement rate that climbs to 73%. In other words, vitamin D for a sector that really needed it. Alvaro Morata and Moise Kean, the two real number 9 of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad, do not even cross the bar of ten goals between them in the league. They would have the right to put that on the back of the animation produced by their team, far from being flamboyant. Latest example: the match against AC Milan just before the break where the Turinese finished with zero shots on target. But still…
“The ugly, dirty and nasty Juve have regained a taste for defense and results, whether the tifosi like it or not. She hardly takes any more goals”, even wrote the Corriere della Sera a few days ago. Now, we will have to mark some. With Vlahovic, it will probably be easier. Behind the scenes, Max Allegri is looking for the best formula for an eleven to be redesigned.
The Gazzetta dello Sport was counting on two possibilities this week. First, a classic 4-4-2 with a Vlahovic-Dybala duo at the fore. Or else a 4-3-3 for the less original, Dybala being shifted in the right lane (improbable), Vlahovic in the axis and Morata on the left in a Mario Mandzukic role worthy of the good old days. A return to three-man defense could also not be ruled out, as could a switch to 4-2-3-1 according to The print. Which would eventually give a Bernardeschi-Dybala-McKennie attack behind Vlahovic. See you on February 6 for a first element of response: Juve will receive Hellas Verona. Unless there is a last minute problem, the Allianz Stadium will then be able to contemplate their new striker.
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