Vlahovic risks Fiorentina wrath as Arsenal links strengthen

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 18 Jan 2022 00:10 CET 4 min read
Dusan Vlahovic, Fiorentina, 2021/22

Dusan Vlahovic is set to depart Fiorentina for Arsenal during the January transfer window for a fee of around €70 million.

The striker’s behaviour has been one of the reasons cited for the Serie A side finally allowing the 21-year-old to depart the club.

It seems that Vlahovic’s attitude has suffered in light of such transfer speculation, though the goals have continued to come.

After equalling Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for Serie A goals scored in a calendar year during 2021, he is off and running in 2022 with a single strike to his credit.

Vlahovic's attitude under question

His mentality, however, will doubtless be further questioned by the club’s board following Wednesday’s Serie A clash with Genoa.

The score was still 0-0 when Vlahovic stepped up to take a penalty after 11 minutes. He went for an audacious Panenka, but his showboat failed as visiting goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu made a stop.

Previously, he had hit 17 career penalties and not missed a single one.

Given the status of the match and the manner of the kick, it was an action seemingly designed to provoke the frustration of the board.

In many ways, it was a no lose situation for him: score and look like a hero, miss and enhance the possibility of a dream move to the Premier League coming true.

Subsequently, Fiorentina managed to nevertheless move into a 3-0 lead by the interval. Alvaro Odriozola opened the scoring, knocking home the rebound to a Vlahovic effort that had been blocked, while further strikes from Giacomo Bonaventura and Cristiano Biraghi had the points sewn up by the break.

Vlahovic then belatedly made amends for his faux pas from the penalty spot by scoring a delightful second-half chip for what was his 17th goal of the season in Serie A. His side ultimately won 6-0, with Lucas Torreira among the scorers.

For Vlahovic, though, this might prove to be his last for the club as rumours that a switch to Arsenal is increasingly likely. Terms between the clubs have been agreed at €70m, but there is a hold up as agent Darko Ristic is reportedly holding out for a substantial bonus, which is stalling the deal from being completed.