Dusan Vlahovic proved to be the inspiration that Juventus needed and his performance in the 3-0 victory against Salernitana means that he has been chosen as the Serie A Player of the Week.
The 23-year-old Serbia international found the back of the net twice on Tuesday evening and he also created a goal for his compatriot Filip Kostic. The win in Salerno takes the Bianconeri to 10th in the Serie A table with Empoli and Monza albeit with a 15-point penalty.
Vlahovic constantly involved in open play and makes decisive contribution
It was in the 26th minute that Vlahovic gave Juventus the lead after Fabio Miretti was fouled by former Bianconeri midfielder Hans Nicolussi Caviglia and the Serbian striker sent his penalty kick to the right side of the net.
He was hungry for goals, but he unintentionally became the assist-provider when his shot seemed to be going off target, only for his fellow Serbian Kostic to divert the ball into the net shortly before half-time.
Two minutes into the second half, Nicolo Fagioli intercepted the ball in the midfield and played a clever through-ball to Vlahovic, who side-footed his shot into the net. He was involved in the goals, but the 23-year-old was a constant threat in open play, looking for other opportunities to score and creating chances for teammates.
He could have got his second goal in the first half but he had a solo effort flash across goal. Meanwhile, he created a chance for Angel Di Maria only for the crossbar to deny the Argentine and he provided an opportunity for Federico Chiesa to score but the Italian failed to hit the target.
Although it was his first start in Serie A for 2023, he showed that he can make a great impact for Juventus when fit and gaining in confidence.
How important can Vlahovic be in the future?
At this stage, a fit Vlahovic is fundamental as Juventus try to climb up the table again and make a late run for a spot in Europe. With Chiesa struggling to regain full fitness and Arkadiusz Milik as well as Moise Kean not scoring frequently enough for the Bianconeri faithful, the Serbian striker starting a purple patch would help immensely.
However, the 23-year-old has been linked with a move away from Turin, and after the club was investigated and penalised for financial fraud, this may prompt him to leave the Italian giants. English clubs Manchester United and Chelsea were linked with the Serbia international in the winter transfer window it is possible that they might make a greater push to sign him at the end of the season.
The new Juventus board will want to reduce costs and the wage bill. Despite this, Vlahovic has a huge upside and it will be hard for Bianconeri fans to handle if he further blossoms elsewhere.