He is, like Erling Braut Haaland, born in 2000, and is part of the new, forward-thinking generation. European big clubs are now far behind Serie A top scorer Dušan Vlahović (21).
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– I’m Belgrade’s answer to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I’m going to play for the biggest clubs.
There has obviously never been anything wrong with Dušan Vlahović’s ambitions. According to his old teammate in the Serbian Partizan, Valeri Bojinov, Vlahović repeated the same thing every week.
He was going to be a star, something he already announced as a 15-year-old.
Six years later, now 21 years old, it is safe to say that he is well on his way. The combination of being 190 centimeters tall, strong, but at the same time fast, technically gifted and razor-sharp in front of goal, has made the Zlatan comparisons almost inevitable.
– We are talking about a striker from the Balkans of over 190 centimeters, who scores goals with his right, left and head. He thrives on the wrong side and likes to find teammates with flaps, so there are some obvious similarities. And then there is an attitude, attitude and physique that makes the connection natural, says former Strive commentator Even Braastad.
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The new wine
The Serbian goal machine is part of the forward-thinking, new generation, and like Erling Braut Haaland, Vinicius Junior and Phil Foden was born in 2000.
48 goals in 107 games for Fiorentina and seven goals in 14 internationals for World Cup-ready Serbia testify to a striker who does a lot right. Vlahović has already broken Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the number of Serie A goals in a calendar year (33).
At the time of writing, he is the top scorer in Serie A with 16 hits in the 2021/22 season.
Everyone who delivers numbers like Vlahović is noticed, and the attention is not exactly diminished by doing it for a club that does not fight regularly at the top. Now he will be on the wish list for clubs such as Manchester City, Juventus, Arsenal, Tottenham and the newly rich Newcastle. Barcelona has also been frequently mentioned.
– If I have to highlight three young, offensive players who stand out, it is Erling Braut Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, and now, Dušan Vlahović. He is Serie A’s greatest talent and a player who will score goals for big clubs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights after the Champions League anthem has been played, says Braastad.
– Must return to Batistuta
Fiorentina initially have good cards in hand, but the contract situation is a bit more worrying for “La Viola”. Vlahović’s contract expires in 2023, which means that a summer transfer is in the cards for Fiorentina to get something in return for the striker.
Any buyers will probably have to dig deep into the money bag, regardless of the contract situation: Transfermarkt has valued Vlahović at just over NOK 700 million.
– He is a real nine with presence, impact in the game and a lot of will. He has become a confident and good finisher, and is good at building the game. And he delivers figures that one must return to Gabriel Batistuta to find in Fiorentina, says Braastad.
He has followed Vlahović closely, even before he really woke up to life in Italy, and sees several similarities with Haaland. Braastad describes Vlahović as “chopped under” the Norwegian star striker.
– There is something about the enormous willingness to score goals. When you watch Haaland play, it looks like he wants more than anyone else. Vlahović has a bit of the same. The attitude they have, young naivety combined with enormous skills and self-confidence makes it look like nothing can stop them, says Braastad.
Right now, Dušan Vlahović is just that: hard to stop.