Arsenal

Arsenal and Edu vindicated on £67m transfer decision as Juventus reality hits Dusan Vlahovic as Edu makes 28 goals striker approach

Arsenal were outplayed by Crystal Palace on Monday night as the Eagles went on to secure an impressive 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park. With Alexandre Lacazette’s form floundering, their failure in front of goal once again highlighted the importance of signing at least one striker in the summer.

For much of the January window, Gunners fans hoped that the club would be able to convince Serbia international Dusan Vlahovic to trade Fiorentina for north London. However, the 22-year-old always had his sights set on a switch to Juventus, with the Old Lady eventually forking out €80million (£67million) for his services.

Meanwhile, other than Vlahovic, Edu and Arsenal didn’t feel as though the right striker was attainable in the January market. Criticism would’ve likely wavered had the Gunners not also allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave the club at the end of the window by mutual consent.

The decision to part ways with their former captain left Arsenal with just Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as their more natural centre-forward options. Both have struggled in front of goal this season – stand-in skipper Lacazette has scored just four Premier League goals, whilst Nketiah is still yet to open his account in England’s topflight this campaign.

To add to Mikel Arteta’s concerns, Lacazette has now also gone more than 18 hours since finding the net from open play. His poor form has ultimately left question marks over the decision to not sign a striker in January and has highlighted how imperative Vlahovic could’ve been to the Gunners’ top-four charge.

Having said that, Arsenal fans can take comfort from the fact that the Serbian’s form has actually dropped since he moved to Turin. As per Football Italia, Vlahovic has managed one goal every 199 minutes at Juventus, scoring five goals in 12 appearances in a black and white shirt.

That’s significantly less than what he’d been producing for Fiorentina. During the first part of this campaign under Vincenzo Italiano at Fiorentina, Vlahovic scored 20 goals in 24 games, one every 102 minutes. Last season, with Giuseppe Iachini and Cesare Prandelli in charge of the striker, he scored 21 goals in 40 appearances, one every 147 minutes.

Plus, in an act that may cheer up the Arsenal faithful, he’s also been held accountable for one of the worst dives in history, as he flopped to the floor following an accidental brush from Danilo D’Ambrosio in Juventus’ 1-0 loss to Inter Milan on Sunday night.

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