Up until this point, I'd probably like to think that this is a season Mirko Vučinić won't be saving for his personal highlight film. He's probably been hurt more than anybody on the Juventus roster not named Simone Pepe. He's had one of the strangest and most unique transfer sagas in the past couple of transfer windows. And, above all else, this comes after he began the season as the right-hand man to Juve's new No. 10, Carlos Tévez, in the starting lineup.
If there were style points for how unique and "interesting" somebody's season could be, Vučinić would be racking them up like they were going out of style. Even though he has played much post-Fernando Llorente taking his starting job,
But with all the injuries and might-be moves to that team in Milan, this hasn't been one of Vučinić's memorable seasons. Well, maybe memorable in a sense that
Could this be a knee-jerk reaction to what Vučinić did against Lyon on Thursday? Well, yeah. But at the same time, this isn't exactly a Juventus team that is screaming "Don't you dare change a damn thing!" at me or anything like that. This is a squad that needs something — different? — as we hit the stretch run in both Serie A and the Europa League.
Vučinić could very well give them a spark. Or just something different.
Think of it this way: Since the beginning of March, Juventus has scored more than one goal in a game just twice. That's just twice in nine games in all competitions. Remember in December, January and February where it seemed as though Juventus were storming through their opposition and scoring goals whenever they felt like it? Yeah, me, too. But that's certainly not the case at the moment.
Llorente isn't playing the same way he was when he first became a regular in the starting lineup. For as good as he was for about three or four months in the middle of the season, El Rey León hasn't found the back of the net in just over a month, last scoring a goal against AC Milan on March 2. And before that, Llorente's last goal was in the middle of February. That makes two goals in his last 11 appearances.
Not exactly matching the kind of production he had from the end of September to the end of January.
But as we saw against Lyon, Vučinić does still have something to offer this team. For as frustrating as he can on the field when things aren't going right for him, he's still capable of adding something to the Juventus attack. Now comes the decision for Antonio Conte. Does he continue to go with his regular strike partnership in Tévez and Llorente? Or does he consider shaking things up and bringing Vučinić back into the lineup on a somewhat regular basis?
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
Is Mirko Vučinić the newfound savior and the man to solve all of Juventus' problems? No, probably not. It's not just the fact that Juve aren't scoring many goals right now that is causing this sluggish form. Heck, his future with the club beyond this season is anything but certain. For right now, though, Mirko and his interesting antics have a place in Turin.
- UEFA Europa League: Juventus vs. Lyon, Leg 1, full match coverage
- Juventus 1 - Lyon 0 — BonBon seals sweet victory in France
- Juventus 1 - Lyon 0: Initial reaction and random observations
- Europa League Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Lyon, Leg 1
- Europa League Preview: Juventus vs. Lyon, Leg 1 — The French Connection