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‘Lethal finisher’ Vlahovic completes Juventus move

ROME (AFP) – Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic has completed his transfer to Juventus from Serie A rivals Fiorentina on a four-year deal worth up to EUR90 million, the Turin club confirmed on Friday, hailing the arrival of a “lethal finisher”.

Vlahovic, who turned 22 on Friday, has been the revelation of the first half of the season in Italy and is the league’s joint top scorer with Ciro Immobile on 17 goals.

Juventus announced the signing of Vlahovic in a deal worth EUR70 million, in addition to EUR11.6 million costs and bonuses up to a maximum EUR10 million.

The contract runs until June 30, 2026. The record 36-time Italian champions’ attack has been weakened by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United and a season-ending injury to Federico Chiesa.

Juve sit fifth in the table and have scored only 34 goals in 23 Serie matches, 11th-best in the division.

Serbian forward Dusan Vlahovic runs for the ball during a Serie A football match in Turin. PHOTO: AFP

“Twenty goals in 24 appearances, between Serie A and Coppa Italia, in the first part of the 2021/2022 season,” wrote Juventus on their website.

“Those numbers rise to 41 in 64 appearances if totalled with those from the 2020/2021 season.

“Any player boasting stats like these can be summed up in two words: lethal finisher – or, if you prefer, Dusan Vlahovic, now officially at Juventus – what better way to celebrate your 22nd birthday?”

The youngster, who has often been compared to AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, arrived at Juventus for a medical earlier on Friday, and takes Ronaldo’s former number seven jersey.

“It would be reductive to describe Dusan as simply a force of nature,” Juventus continued.

“In addition to his physical prowess, he displays outstanding technique, power, class, and all-importantly, a clinical coldness in front of goal.”

Vlahovic at 16 became the youngest ever player to play for his local club, Partizan Belgrade, joining Fiorentina in the summer of 2018 and flourishing in the Italian system.

“In less time than expected, he grasped the demands of football in Italy and adapted his individual playing style to the rigours of calcio,” Juventus added.

“Season 2020/21 was the year Dusan definitively exploded onto the scene.

“No other striker has scored as many as his 38 goals over the last two seasons combined, one more than Ciro Immobile and at least ten more than any other striker still playing in our league.”

Juventus are 11 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan but just one point off the Champions League berths although they have played one game more than fourth-placed Atalanta.

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