Champions League – Villarreal – Juventus: Dusan Vlahovic, a new star enters the track

The famous track with the stars of the Champions League will have to expand. This Tuesday evening, a new one will make its entrance. And she is awesome. From the top of his 90 meter, Dusan Vlahovic is preparing to play his first C1 match with Juventus, which he joined this winter for 70 million euros, a record in Italy for a winter transfer window. “Along with Haaland and Mbappé, he is one of the best current centre-forwards“, had assured Massimiliano Allegri by welcoming the Serbian jewel in early February.

The former Fiorentina player will now be able to demonstrate it. For now, he only has fifty minutes in the Europa League. It was during the 2016-2017 season during a second round match between his team Partizan Belgrade and the Polish club Zagłębie Lubin. At just 16, he entered the second half before he and his teammates lost on penalties.

Six years later, the world has changed around Dusan Vlahovic. Here he is today in one of the biggest clubs in the world, which has made a big financial effort to secure his services this season. For Juve, he is the striker of the next ten years. Scorer in his first bianconero match on February 6 (2-0 against Verona), decisive in the Italian Cup quarter-finals a few days later (2-1 against Sassuolo), the Serbian international (14 caps, 7 goals ) quickly became indispensable at the forefront, without being crushed by any pressure despite the heavy number 7 that Cristiano Ronaldo wore until last summer.

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But the positive repercussions of his arrival did not stop here: the environment around the club, a little depressed by the results and performances since the start of the season, was suddenly electrified. Announced as a starter, Alvaro Morata, shifted to the left side, was able to enjoy a lot of responsibilities. Released, the Spaniard is transformed, even transcended, and does not hide the fact that this coming has made “good to everyone“, just like that of Denis Zakaria. Finally, Paulo Dybala immediately got along with his new teammate. On the field, the two speak the same language.

I still have to work more

The coach just told me to keep calm and everything would be fine“, explained Vlahovic after his first successful. While underlining the path still to be done: “Scoring is important, but I want to improve in all aspects of the game, in playing, in scoring. I still have to work more“. A bit like the rest of his team, by the way. Because everything has not really been rosy since his arrival.

Vlahovic may have powers, but they’re not all magic. Admittedly, Juve have made their return to the Top 4, synonymous with qualification for the Champions League. Admittedly, she has been undefeated for 12 days (7 wins and 5 draws). Admittedly, its defensive solidity (only one match with two goals conceded during the last fifteen) is found. But criticism of his game, especially offensive, are frequent. They came back after the draw in the derby (1-1) against Torino on Friday evening.

Dusan Vlahovic, completely lonely in the middle of the attack, was perfectly muzzled by the overpowered Gleison Bremer. “The problem is that he is very good at fighting on the edge of the surface, turning around and shooting, or even serving as a pivot and then being at the reception of a cross. If he has to do the same things in midfield, any striker would struggle“explained the former Juventus striker Massimo Mauro on Monday to The Gazzetta dello Sport.

At the heart of the indictment, therefore, the game proposed by Massimiliano Allegri, the bianconero technician, not really known for making his teams practice champagne football. A few quick figures for Juve 2021-2022: 10th attack (38 goals) in the championship, 7th in the “expected goals” ranking (38.6) and 5th in the shots ranking (374). Suffice to say that the new number 7 bianconero, author of 18 achievements this season between Fiorentina and Juve, finds himself in the middle of the desert. Criticized after his first real slump against the Toro, he was however able to count on the defense of his coach.

Let’s not forget that he comes from a team that certainly has a very good championship but only played once a week“, Allegri pointed out to DAZN on Friday.”He was a bit off. His previous match had already been a little less brilliant. But it’s a normal course. When you play every three days, you can’t last playing only on the physical for 95 minutes, you need some technical management“, he added. It’s up to him to find the solutions to put his new striker in the best possible position. In the last two Serie A meetings, the Bianconeri have only scored… from a corner.

Take an example… on Trezeguet

With Cristiano Ronaldo, top scorer in the history of the Champions League, Juve had stalled for the past two seasons from the round of 16 in C1, against OL then FC Porto. Will the music change with Vlahovic? For inspiration, he can always draw inspiration from his illustrious predecessors. For example, a certain Alessandro Del Piero (20) had scored a goal and delivered two assists for his big first in C1 against Borussia Dortmund in September 1995.

Five years later, on September 19, 2000, David Trezeguet also scored a goal in a defeat against Panathinaikos. The French striker was then only a 22-year-old young striker. Just like the Serbian, well. “He already had this match against Villarreal in his sights this Mondaysaid Alvaro Morata on Monday. It’s something that gets everyone excited, we hope he will score for the first time in this competition (…) It only brings positive things. He has a wonderful career ahead of him.” “Vlahovic starts in the Champions League, we can’t put all the responsibilities on his back, because you need a wealth of experience that he doesn’t havewarned Max Allegri. We have to protect it, support it. When he has played 60, 70 matches, he will be a totally different player. It’s not just a technical question, but also a psychological one, a question of pressure.”

Leaving Fiorentina to take a step and rub shoulders with the very high level, the latter knows he is eagerly awaited on the European scene. “It will be a unique emotion to play my first match in C1, he confided during his press conference. I have never felt these sensations. But I feel ready. If I am at the level of Mbappé and Haaland? I am focused on my journey and my career. I don’t know how far I’ll go, but I’ll do everything to make it very far” The Champions League only has to open its doors. Enter here, Dusan Vlahovic.

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