Simply based on the transfer fee Juventus paid for him at the end of January, there are big things expected from Dusan Vlahovic both this season and going into the future. He was brought in to be a cornerstone of a new Juve era, score a ton of goals and try to get the Old Lady back to the top of the Serie A standings.
But Vlahovic has been recognized for what he did last season, too.
Vlahovic, Juventus’ 22-year-old battering ram of a striker, was one of the 30 players included in the list of nominees for the Ballon d’Or, it was announced Friday by France Football. Vlahovic, coming off the best season of his young and very promising career, is the lone Juventus player to be nominated for one of the biggest individual awards in all of football after Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were included in the 30-man list last season on the back of Italy’s run to win Euro 2020(1) last summer.
Vlahovic is one of three Serie A players nominated alongside AC Milan duo Mike Maignan and Rafael Leao.
Honestly, I can get used to seeing this in subsequent years to come. And if we continue to see this, it will probably mean that Vlahovic has scored lots of goals and that hopefully lead to Juventus doing good things.
Now, the thing is, since Vlahovic joined Juventus midseason after his big-money move from Fiorentina that was sealed on his 22nd birthday, this is as much a nomination for his efforts before calling Turin home than after. Statistically, it most definitely is thanks to what he did during his final months in Florence alongside his first half-season with Juventus.
Let’s just check the stats, shall we?
- Vlahovic with Fiorentina: 17 goals in 21 Serie A games
- Vlahovic with Juventus: 7 goals in 15 Serie A games
Now, as we know, Vlahovic is most definitely a Juventus player for the foreseeable future, so every goal he scores at the club level is going to be in bianconero (or any one of the away or third kits that are rolled out). It’s just the uniqueness of such a high-profile and talented player moving clubs in January and then finishing with a lot of goals. Those types of moves don’t happen often during the winter transfer window, and the fact that Juve shelled out so much money then rather than waiting until the summertime — thus risking Fiorentina holding out for even more money — and the craziness that happens during the summer transfer window.
The hope, of course, is that this is the first of many nominations for Vlahovic. And maybe with the additions that Juventus has made in attack and the clear focus they have in terms of providing service for the big Serbian, his numbers will look more like what he did with Fiorentina rather than seeing so many images of a frustrated Dusan. Nobody likes those — especially people who run a Juventus-centered website.