Dusan Vlahovic lived up to expectations scoring on his Juventus debut, but Lorenzo Bettoni suggests the 22-year-old had transformed the Old Lady even before kick-off.

There was something different in the air at the Allianz Stadium tonight and not just because the fog made it almost impossible to see the home of Juventus from the outside. Despite a 50% capacity limit and barely 17,000 fans attending the match against Hellas Verona, the atmosphere was electric mainly because Juventus fans knew they would see their newcomers Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria.

The excitement was justified as the Old Lady sealed a 2-0 win with both players on the scoresheet.

Vlahovic’s move to Turin was probably the most significant transfer in Europe during the January window. The Serie A giants invested €80m, including add-ons to secure his services from Fiorentina. Before tonight, Vlahovic had scored 17 goals, half of the Bianconeri’s total tally in the opening 23 Serie A matches.

He took just 12 minutes to score his first goal in a Bianconeri shirt, but the early signs proved Vlahovic had changed the team even before the match started. It was a new-look Juventus, under every point of view. On and off the pitch. Fans made sure Vlahovic and Zakaria received a warm welcome with chants and offered continuous support to the team from the beginning until the end of the match. They even celebrated when Vlahovic and his teammates scored during the warm up. Juventus players had never experienced something similar this season.

Vlahovic praises Juventus attitude and explains celebration

Results have been disappointing and Allegri’s playing style hasn’t been impressive so far, so the Allianz Stadium crowd had been pretty quiet during the first part of the campaign. Somehow, it all changed in a matter of days and thanks to two big signings.

Max Allegri went all in starting Juventus’ new No.7 with Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala and the Old Lady looked as dangerous as ever since the very early stages of the game. Lorenzo Montipò saved Vlahovic’s first shot on target, but there was nothing he could do to avoid Vlahovic’s first Juventus goal after just 12 minutes. The previous match with Milan at San Siro had finished with no shots on target from Allegri’s boys and according to multiple reports in Italy, that’s when the board understood that considerable investment was needed to snatch a top-four finish.

They went for the most exciting striker in Europe, potentially one of the best in the old continent for the next 15-20 years. Expectations were high and Vlahovic didn’t fall short. The Bianconeri seemed capable of scoring every time their players were in the final third. Vlahovic got his name to the scoresheet with a wonderful lob, making the most of a perfect assist from Dybala. No coincidence that the Serbia international celebrated with the Argentinean by borrowing his iconic ‘mask.’

Allegri keeps Juventus grounded: ‘Vlahovic needs to improve’

The face underneath was as smiling as all the others inside the Allianz Stadium with fans almost feeling like the season has begun tonight. Vlahovic didn’t only score. He literally changed Juventus’ face holding every ball up front and adding what the Old Lady had been missing this season. Immediate impact is probably an understatement.

The Juventus side that failed to register one shot on target against Milan before the break would have struggled to snatch a Champions League spot. Thanks to Atalanta’s loss against Cagliari, tonight, the Old Lady sits fourth ahead of next week’s match in Bergamo, although Gasp’s men have a game in hand.

The January transfer window is usually called Mercato di riparazione, but it feels like Juventus added two crucial pieces to their squad, not just to help them qualify for the Champions League this season but also to become title contenders again starting from the next campaign.

@lorebetto

2 thought on “Vlahovic had changed Juventus before the game even started”
  1. Signing someone like him will always give a boost. Not many teams in Europe would not have him in their team.

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