Did Vlahovic make a mistake picking Juventus over Arsenal?

Less than a year after his €80m move to Juventus, Dusan Vlahovic is struggling to show his best in Turin and he may have found more success in North London with Arsenal, suggests Apollo Heyes.

The 22-year-old Serbian striker seemingly had two options in the January transfer market earlier this year, the Bianconeri or the Gunners. He had his sights set on the Old Lady and eventually secured a move to Piedmont, becoming the new face of their post-Cristiano Ronaldo era.

His first six months in Turin were decent, netting seven goals in 15 Serie A appearances in the second half of the season, but things have looked less positive this campaign. Whilst Vlahovic has  scored four league goals in his six league appearances, only one of these came from open play, whilst the others were direct free kicks and a penalty.

Allegri has tried to take the pressure off the 22-year-old, suggesting that he’s young and needs time to learn, but his €80m price tag directly contradicts this claim. Vlahovic expected to become the leading man in Turin, but now he’s simply the face of a disappointing and sluggish Juventus.

The 1-0 loss to Monza on the weekend is emblematic of Vlahovic’s struggles with the Bianconeri. Allegri lined up the team in a 3-5-1-1 formation, leaving the Serbian isolated and with little support going forward. The first half red card to Angel Di Maria obviously exacerbated things, but even without this it wasn’t a particularly positive experience for the former Fiorentina man. 

In the 1-1 draw with Roma at the end of August, the 22-year-old Serbian striker only had one touch in the Giallorossi penalty area, a clear sign of his isolation in Allegri’s defensive system. The week prior in the 0-0 draw with Sampdoria, he only managed two touches in their penalty area.

Had Vlahovic picked Arsenal instead of Juventus, things would’ve likely gone differently. The Gunners picked up Gabriel Jesus in the summer and he’s reinvented himself in North London, becoming a talismanic figure in their rise to the top of the Premier League table. 

The Brazilian forward has also scored four goals this season, but has played an active role in their attacks even if he hasn’t always end up on the scoresheet. His non-penalty xG of 3.7 is noticeably higher than Vlahovic’s 1.5 npxG.

Juventus have produced an xG of 8.5 across their seven Serie A games this season, far below Arsenal’s 12.8 xG from their eight Premier League matches. Mikel Arteta is known for trusting younger players and is not afraid to let them shine on the pitch, whilst Allegri is still talking about Vlahovic’s need to learn and grow, usually preferring more experienced options.

The 22-year-old Serbian striker often looks frustrated and confused on the pitch, regularly complaining and shouting at his teammates, whilst Jesus cannot seem to wipe the smile off his face in the English capital, having fun as Arsenal flex their muscles. 

Arsenal are on the rise under Arteta and are hoping to secure a top four finish this season, whilst Juventus are declining and may even miss out on Champions League qualification.

Vlahovic is obviously a talented centre forward with an eye for goal, but he seems unable to show that in Turin under Allegri, an issue that seems difficult to fix in the near future.

7 Comments on “Did Vlahovic make a mistake picking Juventus over Arsenal?”

  1. The 3 comments above are fine but when you try to actually comment on the story, it doesn’t post? Wondrous.

  2. DB that’s why I post trash sometimes. Their filtering system is upside down. I approve of log ins.

  3. Of course he made a mistake. Going to the 7/9 and serial shipping boys of Europe with Flinstone Max at the helm was always going to be a disaster. A man that used to get a goal a game will now end the season in single digits. Arteta has them firing and the PL is a far better league.

  4. Of course he made a mistake. Going to the 7/9 and serial whipping boys of Europe with Flinstone Max at the helm was always going to be a disaster. A man that used to get a goal a game will now end the season in single digits. Arteta has them firing and the PL is a far better league.

  5. He did that in a one-team league with zero competition. Even Kean looked like van Basten in France and Pochettino managed to win something. PL is a far better league for Man City and Liverpool…the rest are very far behind.

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