Football News

“Better and more complete” – Serbian FA president makes his pick between Dusan Vlahovic and Erling Haaland

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:48, 4 July 2022

Serbian FA president Nenad Bjekovic has made the very bold claim that Dusan Vlahovic is a better and more complete player than Erling Haaland.

Vlahovic and Haaland are two of the best young strikers in world football right now and have both recent got big moves off the back of their performances. Haaland is certainly the more appreciated talent, breaking through earlier at Red Bull Salzburg in 2019, scoring 29 goals in 27 games to earn his move to Borussia Dortmund.

The Norwegian hit the ground running at Dortmund and never really stopped, managing 83 goals in 87 appearances across all competitions and 59 in 65 in the Bundesliga alone, only once going more than two matches without finding the net (a run of five after returning from injury).

His star quality at such a young age, turning 22 later this month, had every big club in the world looking to sign Haaland this summer and Manchester City won the race, triggering his release clause of £51.5m in May with the Norwegian officially joining in July. And he’s already being tipped to win the Golden Boot.

But he might not have been the only star striker making his way to the Premier League in 2022. If Arsenal had their way, Vlahovic would already been a Premier League player, with the Gunners hoping to sign the Serbian marksman in the January transfer window.

Also born in 2000, and just six months older than Haaland, Vlahovic made a name for himself in the calendar year of 2021 scoring 33 goals in Serie A, with only Robert Lewandowski (43) netting more across the year in Europe’s top five leagues. Vlahovic achieved those numbers while at Fiorentina and caught the attention of many clubs, eventually signing for Juventus.

Given the burden of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals, Vlahovic has scored seven goals in 15 Serie A matches for Juventus and will be looking to really get up and running in his first full campaign with the Old Lady.

Naturally, as two young strikers looking to make an impact at their new teams, with similar profiles of raw power and clinical finishing Vlahovic and Haaland are going to be compared. And some teams and fans might prefer one or the other depending on their style of play, opting for whoever is more suited.

But Serbian FA president Bjekovic has gone very partisan on his compatriot, outright calling Vlahovic better.

“Vlahovic is better and more complete than Haaland,” Bjekovic told Tuttosport.

“The Norwegian has devastating power, but Dusan is not inferior: there is also very little difference in their height.

“But the Juventus forward’s variety and styles of player is better. Manchester City and Juventus paid more or less the same fee, including commissions, to sign the two this year from Borussia Dortmund and Fiorentina.”