Why Newcastle United should take a punt on Dusan Vlahovic

Back in October, a report from Italian outlet La Nazione (h/t Chronicle Live) had mentioned Newcastle United among the potential suitors for highly-rated Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic. 

The report added that the Magpies had considered a move for the young Serb before eventually completing a deal for Callum Wilson in the summer window. Vlahovic was rated at £30million by the Serie A outfit, despite not being a regular starter for La Viola.

Profile

Dusan Vlahovic started his footballing education at OFK Beograd and Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia before completing his development at Partizan. He made 27 first-team appearances for Partizan in all competitions, scoring thrice, before securing a move abroad to Fiorentina in 2017.

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Dusan Vlahovic had been linked with a move to Newcastle in the summer (Getty Images)

The striker only featured for Fiorentina’s Primavera side in his first season at the club due to administrative reasons before making his first-team breakthrough during the 2018-19 campaign. He started only once in the Serie A that season but established himself in a more prominent role last term, scoring 8 times in 34 appearances across all competitions.

Vlahovic has continued to blossom into a fine young striker, scoring once in 6 league appearances for Fiorentina so far this season. Having previously represented Serbia across various levels between U-16 and U-21, Vlahovic recently made his senior international debut in a UEFA Nations League clash against Hungary.

Vlahovic would be a good long-term signing for Newcastle

Callum Wilson has made an instant impact at St. James’ Park following his £20million move to Newcastle this past summer. The England international has scored 6 times in 8 league appearances so far, providing a much-needed cutting-edge to the Magpies attack. 

Despite Wilson’s bright start to life at Tyneside, Steve Bruce should be concerned about the lacklustre form of some of the other strikers in his ranks. Andy Carroll has failed to score in 25 league appearances for Newcastle since the start of last season. Joelinton has struck only twice in 45 PL appearances for the Magpies so far.

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Vlahovic has scored 9 goals in 51 appearances for Fiorentina (Getty Images)
With Dwight Gayle also struggling with injuries and out of contract next summer, Newcastle ideally need another talented young striker to work in tandems with Wilson up top. Bruce has often used Allan Saint-Maximin as a part of his two-man attack. But a specialist option in front of goal should be high on the club’s agenda. 

To put things into perspective, Newcastle should make a renewed attempt to sign Dusan Vlahovic in January. With Joelinton, Gayle and Carroll all failing to make a big impact, the Magpies should look to part ways with the underachievers in order to make room for a promising young striker like Vlahovic. 

An overall tally of 9 goals in 51 appearances for Fiorentina certainly can’t be termed prolific by any means. But those are promising returns for a striker aged just 20 and plying his trade in one of the elite leagues in Europe. Vlahovic has been touted for a bright future and still has a lot of time to make improvements to his game.

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Source: Getty Images

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Verdict

Dusan Vlahovic has progressed by leaps and bounds at Fiorentina over the past 12 months while also making his breakthrough for the Serbian national team. He’s only going to get better with time and looks more than capable of competing for a place in Newcastle’s ranks. 

Bruce should look to gradually phase him into the mix and the Serb would surely benefit from playing alongside an experienced striker like Wilson. All in all, Vlahovic is a player Newcastle should sign.

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