Football News

Antonio Cassano: Vlahovic is a “second-tier player” who should have joined an ‘intermediate club’ like Arsenal or Spurs

By Ben Green

Published: 12:54, 1 February 2022

Antonio Cassano has questioned Juventus’ transfer strategy to recruit “second-tier player” Dusan Vlahovic, believing the Serbian forward would have been better suited making an “intermediate step” to a club like Arsenal or Tottenham.

The former Real Madrid and Italy striker thinks Vlahovic got things “sensationally wrong” when he decided to trade Tuscany for Turin last month, with Juve signing him for a whopping £62.5m fee from Fiorentina — a figure that dwarfed any other signing in January 2022.

The statisticians would argue Massimiliano Allegri made a pragmatic decision, signing a sharpshooter who has scored more Serie A goals than any other player since the start of last season (38), at a rate of 0.71 per 90 minutes. He also has the record for most Serie A goals in a single calendar year (33 in 2021).

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The 22-year-old actually matched a former Juve player’s record in that department, equalling the tally set by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2020. So, they’ve now splurged on a signing that could conceivably reach similar heights to the ones scaled by the Portuguese during his fling in Turin.

However, Cassano — never one to shy away from a controversial opinion — believes Juve have just made a “second-tier player” the club’s fourth-most expensive signing ever, suggesting the ex-Fiorentina man should have first joined an ‘intermediate club’ like Arsenal or Spurs, before making the leap to Turin.

Speaking on BoboTV, Cassano said: “Juventus will not change with Allegri, neither next year nor in ten years.

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“In my opinion, (Vlahovic’s decision) is sensationally wrong. For the type of player I think he is, he needed to make an intermediate step to a team like Arsenal, Tottenham, or Sevilla, who signed (Anthony) Martial.

“For me, you know, he has always been a second-tier player.

“Vlahovic can become a strong player, but this is a risky step, because he has to show more than he did at Fiorentina.

“He will have some difficulties, also because of the fact that Juve play badly obviously. In addition, I don’t see him matching well with the Juve environment, this is an idea I have. In short, it’s a risky investment both for Juve and for the player.”