Rabiot stepping up for Juventus: Free-scoring Frenchman helping Allegri through Vlahovic’s poor form

Dusan Vlahovic has been out of form for a while now. But in Adrien Rabiot, Massimiliano Allegri and the Bianconeri have found an unlikely but reliable goal-getter this season.

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When Juventus edged past Sporting CP in the Europa League quarter-finals 2-1 on aggregate, it was Adrien Rabiot who scored the crucial goal in Lisbon, but that strike also took the midfielder to the top of the Bianconeri scoring charts for the 2022/23 season alongside Dusan Vlahovic on 11 goals.

The struggling Serbian frontman arrived from Fiorentina last year for a huge €70 million fee with the expectation that he would fire the Old Lady back into the scudetto race, while Rabiot, the free-scoring former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder will be out of contract at the end of the 22/23 season and appears destined to leave.

After having their 15-point deduction for capital gains fraud suspended, Juventus moved back into the Champions League qualification places and the form of Rabiot will be vital to ensuring that the club return to the top table of European football, with or without the Frenchman next term.

Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot celebrates scoring in the Europa League against Sporting. [@juventusfcen]

Rabiot carrying Juventus to Europa League success

Rabiot has been linked with a move to Premier League trio Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle in recent weeks, but Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes that the 28-year-old can still improve with the Turin club.

“He has the qualities [to be a great player], but he can still improve,” the Italian tactician told Sky Sport Italia after the match. “Sometimes he gets close to the area and doesn’t shoot. He has to improve, but he has done that in his dribbling and he has become an important player.”

Rabiot also shared his pride at overcoming the Portuguese giants and is looking forward to the semi-final encounter with six-time winners Sevilla, adding post-game: “tonight we played with our hearts. We suffered until the end, but we’re through.”

“We could have done better,” Rabiot continued. “We wanted to win, but we did it. The goal remains to go to the final and win. We have to prepare well [to face Sevilla] and play like this, with our hearts and heads, and then we’ll see.”

Will Vlahovic recover his form at Juventus?

Dusan Vlahovic reacts for Juventus. (REUTERS/Alberto Lingria)

Although Rabiot’s goals are helping Juventus‘ hopes of Champions League qualification and allowing them to still fight for both the Europa League and Coppa Italia, supporters of the Turin club will remain concerned that Vlahovic continues to struggle for goals and has not scored since March 16 against German side Freiburg.

The 23-year-old remains a regular starter for the Bianconeri despite the competition from Arkadiusz Milik and Moise Kean, but that goal against the Bundesliga side remains his only strike in 15 outings in all competitions. Against Sporting CP, his overall play failed to match the performances in Serie A last term, missing chances that he would have previously converted with confidence and ease.

After hitting 17 goals in 21 league appearances for the Viola, the Serbian international did net seven times in 15 games for Juventus, but has just eight this campaign and an ever-worsening goals-to-games ratio. Maybe the Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter is the perfect opportunity to rediscover his goalscoring touch, with a potential final against his former club an added incentive to perform.

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