Juventus had a surprisingly busy January as they ended up with a lot more activity during the winter transfer window right before deadline day than most fans would have expected. Their biggest signing though had to be striker Dusan Vlahovic as the Bianconeri looked to replace the production of Cristiano Ronaldo up front in a season where they have struggled to find the net.
During his unveiling earlier today, the Serbian international met the media and answered a few questions, starting with a note of gratitude for Fiorentina where he made his mark in the game.
“First of all, I want to thank Fiorentina, my first team and Primavera teammates. Thanks to Barone, Pradé, Della Valle, Commisso and all the coaches of the last few years, especially Vincenzo Italiano, who has supported me until the end.
“I wish him good luck. I also think of Prandelli. He made so many things for me and I will forever be grateful to him. Fiorentina welcomed me nicely when I arrived and I always tried to give my best, being professional until the end.”
Vlahovic also talked about his pride with joining the Bianconeri.
“Now, I am thrilled and proud to have signed with Juventus, a glorious club. I am ready to give my best for the team and obtain great results. I want to thank Juventus President and all the people that brought me here.”
There were a number of suitors for the striker during the mercato, including Premier League interest especially from Arsenal who made a massive offer to Fiorentina that was accepted, but the 22-year-old only wanted one destination.
“There were many rumours about foreign clubs, but the choice was easy because the club and I have a similar DNA. Fight and suffer when needed. I think it’s part of my mentality as well, so the choice was not difficult.”
Interestingly, the Serbian international picked the No. 7 jersey to wear, which has been vacant since earlier this season after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo — was this a message to anyone in particular?
“The #7 jersey represents nothing. All the numbers are important here. I chose it because it’s the closest to #9 [the striker’s traditional number].
“I am here to help my teammates and reach our targets. The shirt number is not important. Determination and commitment are what matter the most. I don’t care about the rest. The most important thing is to win games.”
There have been rumours that he is looking to move into the Turin house Ronaldo recently vacated, but Vlahovic quelled that talk.
“I don’t think so. I must remain humble. The pitch is all that matters. Winning games is all I want. The rest is not too important.
“My target here is to settle in as quickly as possible know all my teammates, even if I’ve known them on the pitch. I want to know them off the pitch and become friends. Having a good relationship with everyone is crucial to reaching important targets.
“Allegri welcomed me well, I am looking forward to starting and helping the team. I am really happy.”
He was asked if he had spoken to his former teammate Federico Chiesa before making the choice to move to Juve.
“I’ve spoken to Federico. As you know, we are friends. We’ve played together before.
“I am sorry for his injury. We’ll be waiting for him. I am looking forward to playing with everyone.”
Vlahovic will have the opportunity to play on the Champions League stage soon when Juve travel to Spain to take on Villareal in the first leg of the Round of 16.
“It will be thrilling [to make my Champions League debut]. I try to work hard and be focused on myself. I try to be focused at any time, I don’t know where I’ll get, but I’ll give my best to go far.”