Arsenal have joined most of Europe in keeping close tabs on Dusan Vlahovic, who is in sparkling form for club and country this season.
What do Arsenal need from a centre-forward? It’s a question being asked up and down the land and answered differently depending on personal taste and observation.
However, in the system Mikel Arteta wants to employ, certain characteristics are needed while there are also desirable traits in relation to what the current crop of strikers are lacking.
From a No. 9 the Gunners need someone with physical presence, who can play with his back to goal and be involved in the build-up play, but is also competitive in the air and a lethal finisher in the 18-yard box. They need a little bit of everything, it’s fair to say.
Arsenal target Dusan Vlahovic is the right profile of striker Gunners should be after
Few strikers are perfect. Few have ever been perfect. The need for an all-rounder in this Arsenal side is a necessity, however, and in eyeing Dusan Vlahovic it’s a positive step towards understanding the requirements in a striker who may or may not be brought in during the summer for Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun who may or may not be leaving.
CalcioMercato is, no beating around the bush, a crap source, but there may well be basis in the report considering the skillet the Serbian possesses suits tailors to what Arsenal are after.
A big bruising centre-forward with commanding physical presence, the 21-year-old has been finding the back of the net regularly since December last year, with 11 goals in 17 Serie A outings for a desperately poor Fiorentina outfit.
An Arsenal side regularly bemoaning their lack of ruthlessness, Vlahovic is an accomplished and natural finisher, surprising for someone of his age and relative inexperience. Left-footed, he can be just as measured with his touches as he can be fierce.
He’s got the height and physique Arsenal are after, is at the right age and wouldn’t break the bank. In terms of an overall package, he ticks a lot of the boxes for what the club should be looking for.
Are there better options? Well, he isn’t the quickest even if he’s more mobile than he looks, and not being proven at length in top-flight football also raises a few alarm bells. However, he’s bang on in terms of profile and will dine on the tears of European defences as they weep seeing him ripple the net for years to come.
Vlahovic is going to be a star. There is an air of premature Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski about him, even if he’s miles off that level. One to watch.