Juventus director compares Dusan Vlahovic to Zlatan Ibrahimovic
For most Juventus fans, the name Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a dirty term. The Swede was a former Juventus player who cut and run when the club was relegated amid the 2006 Calciopoli scandal. This left Juve chasing their tail as many star players departed, some – including Ibrahimovic – to major rivals. The enigmatic forward joined Internazionale, the eternal rivals of Juventus, before departing for FC Barcelona. A latter part of his career has been spent at AC Milan, meaning he has donned the three most important shirts in Italian football.
However, current Juventus director Maurizio Arrivabene clearly has a more positive memory of Zlatan than other Bianconeri. In a recent interview, he spoke of the presence of major signing Dusan Vlahovic. Having failed to score in three games in a row, there are some who worry the Serb has made the wrong choice to move to Turin from Fiorentina.
Vlahovic, though, was defended by Arrivabene and was then compared to the Swedish striker in the same breath. Speaking about the player, the director told Sky Sport Italia: “Vlahovic can’t be questioned. I remember Juventus fans that even Zlatan Ibrahimovic was criticised in his first season at the club and ‘exploded’ in the following campaign. It’s about trusting the player. Vlahovic will show his worth.”
Vlahovic expected to be last marquee hire for Juventus
Interestingly, the director was also asked about what the future would hold for Juventus in the summer transfer window. With two major signings in Denis Zakaria and Vlahovic made in January, most assumed the squad would continue to evolve this summer. With UEFA Champions League football obtained and a hopeful Coppa Italia in the trophy cabinet, the hope was that Juve would kick on and rebuild this summer.
For years, the age of the squad has trended upwards. This summer, it was hoped that an arrival of several new players would freshen up the team. At the same time, it was also hoped that fans would see some other big names arrive in the summer window to supplement the squad in terms of depth.
According to Arrivabene, though, this is not likely. In the same interview, he was asked about major signings this summer and said: “The next transfer window will be strange, I don’t expect many coups, especially in the year of the World Cup. Perhaps something could happen in January, but for sure, we won’t make theatrical moves. We do want to make investments, but in a sustainable way to strengthen the team.”
However, fans should be aware that the director made similar comments ahead of the January window. Given it ended with the arrival of a generational talent in Vlahovic, fans should take those words with a healthy pinch of salt.
Given the need for Juve to replace the outgoing Paulo Dybala, it is expected that some major moves will be made this summer. With the clubs future secured with UCL qualification, Juventus could look to push on and fight to reclaim their domestic title which will go to the city of Milan for a second consecutive season.