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VN Brain Trust: Who’s the best Vlahović replacement?

The editorial staff has some thoughts about who should replace a certain Serbian striker.

Udinese Calcio v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
Yes, Dušan, that guy over there.
Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Every couple of weeks, the Viola Nation writers get together to hash out the answers to the most important Fiorentina questions. Here’s what we talked about this week.

Who’s your ideal replacement for Dušan Vlahović?

Ben: With Dušan Vlahović leaving for big money soon, I’d like to see the club make a statement and sign Domenico Berardi for any price under €40 million. After that, a Vlahović replacement at striker would ideally be young (in order to be resellable), and good. That means whoever they are, they’ll cost a pretty penny. One option would be Lille’s Jonathan David. Lille’s still not in a great financial state and will need to sell some more players soon. He’d probably be more expensive than Berardi, so a transfer is unlikely, but I would love to see him in purple. A more realistic investment would be River Plate’s Julian Alvarez. The 21-year-old has been tearing up the Argentine league and has just broken into the Albiceleste’s senior side, and would probably cost closer to €20 million given the fact his contract expires on December 31, 2022. He’d be high upside, and makes sense as a January signing due to the Argentine league ending around then. Given the fact that Gonzalez (and please Berardi) would both have experience in a top 5 league, Alvarez would have some time to settle in.

Tito: I want to provide a hipster answer like Daryl Dike or Lorenzo Lucca or Arturo Cabral, but I’m skeptical of asking a young player to make the jump to Serie A and fill the shoes of a 20-goal scorer. That’s why I’m leaning towards Andrea Belotti, who’s got a proven track record of scoring at this level, can lead the line on his own, and can do a lot of the same things that Vlahović does. I think he’d be a good system fit under Vincenzo Italiano and would mesh pretty well with the rest of the squad. If Daniele Pradè and Italiano want to go a different direction, I’d vote for Sassuolo’s Giacomo Raspadori, whose pace, technical ability, and movement off the ball make him look tailor-made for Italiano’s Fiorentina.

Trevor: Surely we already have a replacement in the squad? In case of injury, loss of form etc.. Kokorin anyone? Okay, so we all know that nobody was brought in during the summer window, when it was needed, and now if they decide to sell Vlahović in January, who can they realistically expect to bring in? What club is going to see you a top class striker, because that’s what we need, in the middle of the season. Who knows, maybe nothing will happen in January, maybe Dušan decides to sign an extension, or maybe they all decide to wait until the end of the season to do anything. Nothing would really surprise me at this stage, but with the relationship between the player and the fans now broken, they may be left with no option. Whatever happens, as always with Fiorentina, there is never any end to the drama at the club, even when things looked to be going well. We also need to ask ourselves what player would be willing to come here in the current situation. It seems like Berardi was willing to move to Fiorentina during the summer, and maybe that option could still be there, but I’m not sure that Sassuolo will want to deprive themselves of one of their top players in January. The same goes for Raspadori, but maybe they could be willing to sell Gianluca Scamacca. I haven’t really answered the question, and I prefer to wait and see how this situation all pans out.