Opinion: How would Dusan Vlahovic fit in at Spurs and just how good is he?

Dusan Vlahovic
Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dusan Vlahovic is a name that has been thrown around the papers over the past year or so and has become almost synonymous with a move to Tottenham, even more so now after the appointment of Antonio Conte and his knowledge of the Italian league, where Vlahovic plies his trade for the purple and white of Fiorentina.

Vlahovic plays as a striker and is the main source of goals for both Serbia and Fiorentina. At the young age of 21 years old his dizzying numbers of goals are what has put him on the radar of various elite clubs in Europe.

At six foot three, Vlahovic also has an aerial threat, making him even more appealing as a striker. That combined with his strength, speed, power and shooting ability has made him so frightening for all the teams who have had to try and stop him – most teams have failed.

It’s reflected in his stats in both last and this season in the Seria A, the striker has netted 15 times in 17 games this season, whilst also scoring twenty-one times in thirty-four starts last season.

This goal-scoring record only becomes more impressive the more it’s examined. Vlahovic has outscored his xG (expected goals) in the current and previous season, by 4.22 and 2.14 respectively.

The statistics become even more striking when you take into consideration Vlahovic’s tendencies to shoot on sight.

To take a closer insight into Vlahovic’s ability and playing style, I watched Fiorentina vs Sampdoria on Tuesday the 30th  of November.

Vlahovic came into the game with fine form after getting 3 goals and one assist in his last two games, this impressive form was echoed by the confidence Vlahovic oozed on the pitch.

As the Serbian carried himself around the pitch his height and body structure alone are enough to force fear into his opponents. Vlahovic was clearly the focal point of this Fiorentina team, each pass seemed to be with the intent to get Dusan on the ball.

The fact Vlahovic receives the ball so much helps the Serbian’s clear intent to start and finish an attacking move, something which is also an attribute of current Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Vlahovic will often have the ball played into his feet and pass it on to one of Fiorentina’s wingers, the 21-year-old would then make a darting run into the box to tap the goal home, and this typical Vlahovic move was demonstrated in his goal against Sampdoria.

Watching Vlahovic create and finish the move was scarily reminiscent of Harry Kane last season when he would do the same action, with the numbers proving this observation as the Serbian striker has already created 18 chances this season in the Italian topflight.

A difference however between Vlahovic and Kane is how far deep they drop, even though Vlahovic often kickstarts moves he doesn’t drop as deep as Kane does, allowing him to utilise his aerial ability in the box for when the ball is crossed in.

Vlahovic also likes to stay tight to his man when pushing high up against the last line of defence and will try to take the ball in his stride and spin his marker, a move which is usually associated with the likes of Romelu Lukaku.

Like Lukaku this move is made so affective for Vlahovic due to his physicality and power, meaning it’s very tough to shrug the Serbian off the ball, or intercept his turn.

My conclusion after watching Vlahovic in midweek was that he didn’t disappoint. The striker is a great blend for a striker that is still so young, the fact that he is so physical and tall at such a young age reminded me of when Dortmund striker Erling Haaland burst onto the scene.

Obviously, Vlahovic is still untested outside of the Italian league, but his skills and attributes look extremely transferrable to most leagues and clubs that will be chasing him, along with his seemingly unbreakable confidence it should make a recipe for success for Vlahovic, whatever club he joins.

Obviously, the next question circulating Vlahovic will be his future, and what club he will join. His current contract with Fiorentina expires in the summer of 2023, and with so many top clubs circling the striker, Fiorentina have reportedly set their asking price at around £60 million

With Kane struggling to find his form and Vlahovic being such a hot prospect Paratici and Tottenham may be eager to secure the Serbian’s signature in January or the summer before another club gets there or Vlahovic’s scoring record continues to drive his value up.

However, it would start to cause a discussion about whether Vlahovic would be able to play with Kane?

My view is that it would be very tricky, as it would leave Conte with the headache of fitting in Kane, Vlahovic and Son into the same team, making it extremely difficult to find a system that would complement each player well.

However, Paratici may look to replicate the same strategy he formed with signing former Atalanta goalkeeper Gollini whilst Lloris is still at Spurs.

The Italian seems to be looking to gradually filter the new player into the club and compete for a place with the player he will eventually be looking to replace.

Also with Kane’s troubling injury record, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Vlahovic get many games even if he did join whilst Kane was still at the club.

It will be extremely intriguing to see how Vlahovic develops as a young talent and what his next move will be. However, whatever club he elects to move to next; it seems he will almost definitely be destined for success.

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