Sunday, May 22, 2022

Arsenal Eyeing Serie A Forward This Summer: Would He Solve Arteta’s Crisis?

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Satyam Mukherjee
Avid Arsenal fan and a lawyer currently practising in Calcutta High Court.

Arsenal have been average at best during their pre-season games. In their latest outing, Tottenham Hotspur would have humbled them if it wasn’t for Bernd Leno’s heroics. Mikel Arteta would be worried about the lack of goals from his forwards Aubameyang and Lacazette. However, if the recent report of Gianluca di Marzio is believed to be true, Arsenal fans would be excited about the arrival of Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

Break-out Season For Vlahovic

Vlahović signed a five-year preliminary contract with Fiorentina in 2017 and officially moved to the Italian side a year later. Since joining, he has made 77 appearances for Fiorentina, scoring 27 times and assisting on 3 occasions. (transfermarkt)

Tottenham Hotspur eyeing a move for Vlahovic who is seen in the photo
Photo Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse March 13, 2021 Benevento, Italy soccer Benevento vs Fiorentina – Italian Football Championship League A TIM 2020/2021 – Vigorito stadium. In the pic: Dusan Vlahovic ACF Fiorentina / celebrates after scoring goal 0-1 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITAxFRAxCHN Copyright: xAlessandroxGarofalo/LaPressex

The last campaign was the break-out season for the 21-year-old forward as he accumulated 21 goals for Fiorentina. His link-up play with the midfield was most eye-catching and thus the Viola are keen to retain the youngster’s services and are looking to tie the Serbian striker down to a new deal in Florence.

Indeed, Vlahovic’s current deal runs until 2023 and the Serie A side will accept nothing less than €60m for the 21-year-old should they decide to sell.

How Arsenal Might Fit Him In

Mikel Arteta currently has been experimenting with various attacking players. However, his options are very few considering Willian is about to leave the club. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired blanks in every game of the pre-season so far, making the situation worrisome. Lacazette is usually deployed through the middle by Arteta with Aubameyang on the wing, but the Frenchman has also been below par.

Since the departure of Olivier Giroud, Arsenal lacks a forward who can play one-twos with his teammates to put them in attacking positions. Dusan Vlahovic might have turned a page in Olivier Giroud’s book and copied him toe to toe. The Serbian has been immense for 14th placed Fiorentina with his link-up play and deadly finishing, whereas the Arsenal forwards looked out of sorts and lethargic during their last campaign.

Arsenal face competition from Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan in their race to sign the Belgrad born forward, but the Serbian will probably fit the red half of North London the most. Spurs may make a move for Vlahovic should they sell Harry Kane whereas Inter Milan are reported to have had a bid for Vlahovic rejected last week as they eye potential replacements for Chelsea-bound Romelu Lukaku.

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