We genuinely love Dušan Vlahović around here. The Artist Formerly Known as the Very Large Teen is an incredible talent, one who has the potential to become a genuinely world-class striker. His ceiling is perhaps higher than anyone else’s on the team. Combine that with his maturity off the pitch and drive to improve on it and you have a heck of a 20-year-old.
The problem is that he’s all potential at this point, not production. With Christian Kouamé and Patrick Cutrone already on the Fiorentina roster, playing time will be tough to come by for Vlahović next year, so a loan move away seems like the best bet for everyone involved. In recent days, Hellas Verona has emerged as the top destination; according to Veronese paper L’Arena (as reported by FiorentinaNews), the deal has Giuseppe Iachini’s approval and should be nearing completion.
The Mastini should be a perfect landing spot. Coached by an innovative young mister in Ivan Jurić and boasting a good defense and a creative attack, they lack a cutting edge up front. Ex-Viola striker Samuele di Carmine and former Polish wunderkind Mariusz Stępiński are the only other strikers of note on the roster, and Dušan offers physical and technical qualities that neither of them can even dream of.
Even so, Jurić won’t put too much pressure on him to score gobs of goals; Di Carmine hit 8 last term, Stępiński 3, and the departing Giampaolo Pazzini had 4. Hellas, in short, don’t need their strikers to score too much, but rather to hold up play, link up with midfield runners, and only then get into dangerous positions themselves. That should be exactly what Vlahvović: a fairly relaxed environment to sharpen his finishing and all-around game while remaining in Serie A and getting significant playing time.
Given the gemellaggio between the Viola and the Gialloblu, this move makes lots of sense, especially since Daniele Pradè and Tony D’Amico (their respective sporting directors) hammered out the Sofyan Amrabat deal in January. Having a good relationship with a smaller-stature Serie A club or two is a real asset for situations like this, and we hope that it goes through. Dušan has a real shot at double-digit goals for Hellas if it does, and a fully-operational Vlahović is a tantalizing prospect indeed.