Arsenal’s Champions League hopes take £63m blow as Dusan Vlahovic emphasises transfer mistake


Arsenal’s pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic was certainly well-known throughout the January transfer window.

The Serbian striker was a priority target for the Gunners as they aimed to bolster their attacking options with the expected departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – the Gabonese eventually joining Spanish giants Barcelona.

Whilst the Gunners pushed hard for the then Fiorentina man’s services, they were eventually frustrated in their attempts to sign him with Juventus instead sealing a £63m deal.

That has seen Arsenal stick with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as their transfer options, a decision that looks to have been somewhat narrow-minded considering Vlahovic’s hot start to life in Turin.

The 22-year-old netted on his Serie A debut for the club in a 2-0 victory against Hellas Verona and whilst three matches then went by without him finding the net, he ended that somewhat barren run on his Champions League debut.

It took him just 31 seconds of Juventus’ round of 16 tie against Spanish outfit Villarreal as he latched onto a long ball before spearing the ball in the bottom corner – a statement considering that he had never appeared in the competition before.



Dusan Vlahovic was a target for Arsenal in the January transfer window
Dusan Vlahovic was a target for Arsenal in the January transfer window

Arsenal could certainly have done with that prolificacy for the remainder of the campaign as they aim to seal a return to Europe’s top table and indeed challenge for their first European crown.

Interestingly, it appears that current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta harbours aspirations of winning the Champions League – as revealed by Willian after his arrival in north London.

Speaking in 2020, he said: “One of the reasons I wanted a three-year deal was to be part of a plan, not just a player passing through.

“When I talked with the manager he told me why he needed me for three years.

“It was that he first wanted to qualify for the Champions League and win it by the time I left. That was what I wanted to hear.”

Whether Vlahovic would have assisted in that task of course remains to be seen but the longer his positive start to life with Juventus – and on the European stage – the more Arsenal will regret not sealing his services ahead of the Old Lady.





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