On his 22nd birthday, Dusan Vlahovic wrapped up the biggest move of his still very young and incredibly promising career.
And, at the same time, Juventus just so happened to secure the services of one of the best young strikers in all of Europe.
Friday was a day for celebration on multiple fronts for both the player and his brand new club. On his first day in Turin as something other than a Fiorentina player, Juventus announced Friday night that the club has completed the signing of the 22-year-old Vlahovic for €70 million and another €10 million in potential bonuses. Vlahovic has put pen to paper on a contract through 2026 that will pay him a reported €7 million net a season.
He will, to the surprise to some, wear the No. 7 jersey.
The official details of the deal from Juventus’ website:
Turin, 28 January 2022 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with ACF Fiorentina S.r.l. for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Dušan Vlahović has been reached for a consideration of € 70.0 million payable in 3 financial years, in addition to the solidarity contribution provided by FIFA regulations and additional costs of € 11.6 million. In addition, bonuses up to a maximum of € 10.0 million are envisaged upon achievement of increasing sporting objectives. Juventus and the player have signed a contract of employment until 30 June 2026.
Vlahovic is now officially the most expensive January transfer in Serie A history — which has surely bucked the trend of Juventus not doing much at all during the winter transfer window. But when opportunity knocked for Juventus to bring the dude who currently leads Serie A in goals to Turin, there was no hesitation in doing so — which came at the surprise of many simply because of the financial commitment the club just made.
Vlahovic wanted Juventus and Juventus only. Fiorentina almost certainly would have liked to sell him elsewhere — like, say, Arsenal — and take the money and run, but because of Vlahovic’s desire to only play in Turin, there was only so much La Viola could do.
There is no doubt that this is both a signing for the present and the future. At his age and in the midst of the career season he is currently in, Juventus are banking on this being the start of something for Vlahovic rather than a complete outlier. With the way Vlahovic has progressed during his time at Fiorentina and what a physical force he has become despite the club’s struggles during the first half of the 2021 calendar year, seeing him burst onto the scene in this kind of way hopefully bodes well for the future.
Vlahovic is now the man in which the Juventus attack will be built around. You don’t spend that money and not make him the focal point. The good thing is, he’s a guy who has scored a league-leading 17 goals in 21 games this season, so he is very much used to be The Dude already, but now it’s going to be on quite the big stage. (Not to say that Fiorentina is a small stage, but he didn’t make a €70 million move in the first half of the season.)
Juventus got its guy in Vlahovic, a battering ram of a prima punta who has racked up goals galore over the last calendar year. His 2022 hasn’t been too bad, either, and I think it’s safe to say that the guy had a pretty good reason or two to celebrate his 22nd birthday a little bit more than usual.