After Dusan Vlahovic, how do Fiorentina stop Juventus stealing their stars?

by | Jan 25, 2022 20:10

It’s the same old story for Giancarlo Rinaldi and other Fiorentina fans, watching Juventus poach Dusan Vlahovic, but the real worry is that it’s going to keep repeating itself again and again.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Fiorentina sign a player, develop him and nurture his talent until he becomes one of Serie A’s hottest prospects only for – guess who? – Juventus to snap him up. It is a film that appears to have been on repeat for several years now and shows no sign of letting up any time soon.

The latest blockbuster is the Dusan Vlahovic story, as you are no doubt aware. Over the past 18 months or so the young Serbian striker has emerged as one of the most prolific and deadly finishers in the game. Just when Viola fans thought they had found a man to get them into Europe, their old nemesis appears to have stepped in. Cue the boos for the pantomime bad guy.

You don’t need to rewind too far for a similar story when Federico Chiesa made his move north. And, in case you’d forgotten, Federico Bernardeschi was once thought of as a star in the making in Florence before heading to Turin himself. Even goalkeeper Norberto Neto made his name in purple before setting sail for a lovely couple of years on a pitchside bench at the Allianz Stadium or whatever it was called at the time. Their fates may all have been very different but, to followers of the Tuscan club, they were symptoms of the same ailment – an inability to protect your best players from Juventus, the talent-snatchers.

Anyone with an ounce of Calcio knowledge will understand how much this stings. At a club where players have their symbolic “hunchback” removed when they arrive from the Bianconeri, sending your finest products in the opposite direction is never easy. Seeing your favourite son in the arms of La Vecchia Signora is not something you ever get used to.

The more pragmatic will point out that it is better to take big money now than less money in the summer or absolutely nothing at all when his contract runs out in 2023. £62m or so is a lot of money to go out and buy a replacement if you do it well. But the bigger question is, how to stop history from repeating in years to come? Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me several times and counting, shame on me.

Fiorentina owe it to Vincenzo Italiano and the exciting team he is constructing to at least try to stem the flow of talent. It is virtually impossible to hold on to players who want to leave, but any acquisitions should be sounded out on their hopes for the future as well. It is not enough to sign footballers who want to be in Florence for a season or two, you have to try to get people who want to stay. Rare, perhaps, but not impossible to find.

A big step, of course, would be getting the team to perform on the pitch. A Viola side regularly involved in European football and battling with the big boys (for younger readers, such a thing did once exist) would be a much more attractive prospect as a longer term home. This season, at last, the club is up towards the top end of the table which represents an opportunity they can’t really afford to miss.

Based in such a beautiful city, there is enormous potential there which could be tapped into. They will never be a giant, perhaps, but they could at least hold their heads high in such lofty company. The new training facilities, a stadium more in line with modern-day expectations and a long-term plan for remaining a significant force in the Italian game would all make them a harder club to leave. At the moment, you feel, they are getting treated as a bit of a doormat.

When you have seen Roberto Baggio leave for the Bianconeri, nothing can really hurt you. Dusan Vlahovic is a fine player, for sure, but in terms of his emotional significance to Fiorentina fans, he will never be fit to tie the Divin Codino’s hairband. The young forward’s impact, if he goes, will disappear like a small stone’s ripple in the River Arno – not the seismic aftershocks that 1990 transfer entailed.

Nonetheless, the Tuscan club owes it to its fans to try to make this the last time it gets its pocket picked by the Turin giants – especially late in the January transfer window. Smart strategy and a successful team would go some way to making the Stadio Artemio Franchi a go-to destination for players rather than some kind of dingy hotel they can’t wait to see the back of. The Viola have a proud track record of unearthing talent and that is surely something to build on. Now they have to show they can establish long-lasting relationships with their players who buy into what they are trying to achieve. Do that, and all these departures will be no more than another figure to jeer when they return in those much-despised black and white shirts.

Fiorentina

43 Comments

  1. Jaz

    Ok let’s relax here we talking about them getting robbed from their stars to Juve but omg let’s be real here Juve have given 1 single city like Florence a whopping £120 million pound s for 2 players in 18 months not forgetting Fiortina cost them prob 10 million ok guys who are more these numbers please share how much profit has Fiortina just made on just 2 players in a COVID Struck crisis world

  2. badger_bianconeri

    Am I missing something? Is Vlahovic going on a free transfer to Juve?

    Who is stopping Fiorentina from investing all that sweet money they get from Juve? If you are a viola fan, perhaps you should ask the board – what are they doing with this money from Juve.

  3. Brandon

    WARNING — excess saltiness.

    “too much sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also cause calcium losses, some of which may be pulled from bone”

  4. Vgs

    Stealing? Really?
    If only Juventus could come and steal me by paying me 75 million.

  5. Italiano

    Why are you commenting specifically on viola not selling to juve ? So if inter or milan or any foreign club buys their stars it’s okay ? Pure nonsense.

  6. Jaz

    Fiortina should consider them selfs as icons selling players at value like Chinese and vlachavic

    Poor Juve won’t get £30 million for a player right now
    Nobody will pay a dime for Juve players with exception of chiesa

  7. Penaldo

    “Stealing”? Your bias is showing, Susy.

  8. Arrivabene's Cigarette

    We spend big money to sign players from them. If they have a problem with that, then stop buying players who want to play for us 😀

  9. Samy Ibrahim

    Susy, who gave u ur Journalism degree. The Person who gave it to should be sent to prison. Please never write a juve article again. U sound like a butthurt sevem year old

  10. someone

    stealing? by leaving a bag of 75 millions of euros? ok then

  11. FERBAN

    Stealing them?

    They pay a lot for them. Smaller clubs sell to larger or richer ones. Fiorentina fans seem to believe their club is bigger than it actually is. It could be a really big club if it had a richer owner, but until then, it’s a feeder club to the elite – the real elite and the fake elite like the oil clubs.

  12. Rob

    Really? Even Football Italia is gone…

  13. Rob

    Even Football Italia has gone…

  14. GIO

    [email protected]

    Sounds like you know what you’re talking about..

    Fiorentinas owner are number 352 on Forbes wealthy list.
    As a comparison John elkann are number 1580 and have not even a third of comissos net worth.
    So a rich owner doesn’t mean much if they don’t invest in the club.

  15. I MISS JUVE IN SERIE B

    How this is stealing?! Fiorentina can’t keep their star players because of revenue they have. Beside that, star players with big ambition want to join to bigger clubs to win something and Fio isn’t in this situation right now. If you say Juve pay lower than market value it would make more sense but stealing?!
    Having said that, I do believe Commisso has a role on this sales too. He is a long life Juve fan and if he can’t sell his BIG players abroad then he prefers to sell it to Juve rather than any other Italian team.

  16. Del piERO

    Juve are the symbol of Serie-A guys therefore Players would love to wear that shirt , Don’t ne surprised if Nedved and Agnelli leave soon and the Old lady to become more competitive again , Unlike fiorentina who are not on par with Juve

  17. Bbc

    @JAZ Inter have three players is worthy of 30m+, Martinez,barella,skriniar.De vril is on his last year and hence out of the list.
    Now Juventus have three, Chiesa, De Ligt and vlahovic.

  18. Retni Adrem

    So sick of this line about Juve taking advantage of Fiorentina… Could we start looking at the fact Juve have ploughed HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS into Fiorentina in deals that were all ACCEPTABLE to the club.
    Change the narrative to “La Via does great business once again by taking Juve’s money”.

  19. Torredg

    Ethics matter in life and football.
    Juve lost there’s long ago

  20. Frankie

    Torredg – what has this to do with ethics? It’s not like Juve took him on a free. They purchased him with 18 months to go on his contract for $75 mill. How many transfers of this amount are going to be made in Europe in the next 6 months? Vlahovic, like many players playing in Italy and abroad wanted to play for Juve. Juve could have played real hard ball and only stuck to $65 mill. and wait for Fiorentina to crack or wait for him to become a free agent – they didn’t so it’s hardly ‘stealing’ or unethical.
    I notice the writer of the article is ‘Guest’ but given the biased tone it’s clearly Suzy going on one of her anti-Juve rants. More professionalism please, more facts and less bias Suzy. Thank you.

  21. Anthony

    Are you idiots really acting like you are doing Fiorentina a favor? Why would we want to sell our best players to a direct rival for less than there true value on the open market? Your unearned sense of entitlement is crazy. No wonder the rest of the world hates you.

  22. Brandon

    No need to wonder. It is her. When the article first appeared her name underlined it.

    But now says “Guest”.

    LOL. That’s weak.

  23. Vero Rossonero

    Why my comment is being censored is beyond me. Not a single instance of fowl or even negative language. Amazing FI.

  24. bluenine

    Guys, thats clearly an article from a lifelong Fiorentina fan, who probably was watching games at Stadio Artemio Franchi before any of you were born. Learn to respect opinions of others even if they are different than yours.

    I remember when Baggio left for Juve. You are right, this is probably like a small stone’s ripple compared to that tsunami.

  25. Andrea

    That’s how business models work. Some teams focus on developing young players with the goal to eventually sell them for profit. That’s how they stay afloat. Fiorentina fans need to let go of the dream of another Batigol commiting to the club, even he eventually moved on to try and win something.

  26. Ale

    Fiorentina got a mammoth of money from Juve when they sold their players to them
    So Juve were really not stealing them
    Instead, i think Juve overvalued their players
    Chiesa isn’t near even 40 mil euros
    Bernardeschi only in 25 mil euros value
    And this Vlahovic, with the consistency concern for long period actually only valued in 40 mil Euros
    So, fiorentina, it is you who has been benefited from this
    Just see all your investment for those players and how much you got from them
    And the fact, fiorentina are happy with the selling process

  27. Bunga2

    I am not even Italian, I was still a toddler when Baggio left for Juve, but I know every Fiorentina (at least that I know) hates Juve to the core (partly because of that), and probably would prefer to sell their players somewhere else.

    It is not about the money, sure 75M is hefty and Fiorentina makes a huge profit. But, I don’t know why Juve fans doesn’t seem to be able to emphatize with their anger, just imagine how you guys felt when say, Ibra left your team to Inter. He’s not even your icon but you guys were still butthurt by that move right? If Inter fans said, hey we paid you 25M for Zlatan, which was a lot at the time, so we’re not stealing him, stop buying players who wants to play for us etc, how would you feel?

    It doesn’t matter to Viola fans if you think that Fiorentina isn’t a rival, below Juve’s standard etc, they see you as one.

  28. Torredg

    Time will tell if this purchase will bring trophies to Turin. Ronaldo couldn’t bring home the silver nor Chiesa and several others because team cohesion comes within and success follows. The entire league and competition suffers when a team seeks to purchase success rather then earn it. A manager can only do so much to make players believe that they represent the badge on their jersey, the city they play for and the man beside them. This separates great players and teams because playing as one not just paying one makes the difference. Time will tell.

  29. Tom

    Stealing for 75m quid you are not serious

  30. me who

    Fiorentina should have the richest owners… theyve always traded away their biggest stars / greatest talents for many years. Battigol Rui Costa Toldo, Jovetic …Juve have stolen Baggio, Chiesa , Cuadrado, Bernardeschi, and now Vlahovic.
    Palermo too have sold some many future stars… and where are they now ?
    greed kills.

  31. Bobo

    What the author of this article is overlooking- and it’s no small fact: Baggio didn’t want to leave Fiorentina. He was sold against his will and cried over it. Vlahovic, a player no one ever heard of before last season, suddenly wants to play for Juventus. I would sell him abroad and if he refused to go, let him rot in the stands next year. Then, after losing a year of his career, he can go wherever he wants. Disgusting.

  32. Chris

    The richest teams will always buy up the best players. It is the same in every European league. The only way to stop this would be a salary cap and equal distribution of income to all teams. The big teams would never allow this to happen. It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas. Still, lots of English people voted for brexit so you never know what could happen with enough fan pressure.

  33. Viola Fan

    To juve fans:

    They say steal because juve contacts players managers to reject all offers except the one from juve and juve will satisfy agent later.

    This against law and juve does it a lot…

    See you on the last day of the season….

  34. I MISS JUVENTUS IN SERIE B 🤡

    Guys I have been writing you for months that this is going to happen.

    Rocco is a juBentus fanboy and he is now living the dream: constantly helping them at the cost of his own club.

    We saw how Chiesa left and now we see this… deals are rigged at the highest level in Italy.

  35. TOKEN BUBBLE

    Robbed of stars! It’s not like they haven’t financially benefited from their sales, Juve have always paid the top price for each of those players Fiorentina fans need a reality check, they’re not a top club, these players will eventually move on.

  36. Frankie

    “The entire league and competition suffers when a team seeks to purchase success rather then earn it.”
    Oh, OK Torreg, so when Juventus makes a big signing we are purchasing success, but when Inter purchase people like Lukaku for the same amount that’s all good and great. It’s the economics of football bud. Fiorentina got the money they were after so who is crying. Butthurt opposition fans just can’t get behind their jealousy and their hypocrisy and admit that this was a masterpiece of a move – getting one of the top 3 strikers in Europe in January – wow, just wow.

  37. The Grand Old Lady Rocks to JUVE!

    Ok so nobody was robbed, quite the opposite but I can understand the frustration from life long Fiorentina fans. I now wear the so called ‘much despised black and white stripes’ because of Roberto Baggio. The first jersey I ever owned had the no. 10 for Baggio. A few years later he went to Milan. This is life. Juve sold fan favourites such as Zidane and Pogba at the peak of their abilities. It is not right to want to enslave players. If a player wants to leave, he/she should be allowed to.

  38. old man viola

    Hello Ferban before you make comments like Fiorentina need a rich owner they have one, one of the riches owner, but financial fair play and the garbage policy in Italy where they don’t let him build a stadium with his own money is a joke. so Fiorentina can pay and keep good young players, and compete with top teams

  39. torredg

    @Frankie
    Seems like Inter wins even w/o lulu and he wasn’t on anyone’s radar as he really wasn’t doing well at the time.Juve scans Serie A finds the players who are doing well and buys them, hurting there competition.
    wrong? Chiesa ,Locatelli,Kulusevski,Dybala, Bernardeschi … anyone else?
    It’s a wonder they aren’t Bankrupt but wait they’ll inflate transfer value and await judgement by Italy’s financial police. Yes Ethics matter.

  40. Brandon

    Can we have a new article how can Partizan Belgrade (Vlahovic’s first club) can stop Fiorentina from stealing their players?

    Some people are carrying on as if he is a product of their Academy.

  41. Brandon

    And to the comments about Vlahovic not being sure about wanting Juve and was interested in other teams — give your head a shake. He’s only wanted to stay in Italy and only wanted Juve.

    Despite being Serbian, Juventus is his boyhood team. As it was Loca, as it was Chiesa. Juve are doing right by signing players that are prepared to die on the pitch for the shirt. Like what Roma used to have. But now they have mercenaries.

    He was on Serbian radio about a year ago saying that his favorite Serbian team is Partizan because they wear black & white horizontal stripes like his favorite team, Juventus.

    He is as Juventino as they get. This is his boyhood team.

  42. mikkel

    Stealing??? Get a grip Suzy. You mean buying.

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