Premier League

Dusan Vlahovic? Man Utd are going for the wrong Serbia striker

Stuart Telford
Dusan Vlahovic, Juventus, 2022/23

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Juventus’ Serbia striker Dusan Vlahovic, but there is a better solution playing just down the road…

United are in the market for a No.9 following Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial departure on the eve of the World Cup, the Portuguese released after criticising the Glazer ownership and manager Erik ten Hag in an interview with Piers Morgan.

In truth, Ronaldo had already been dropped by Ten Hag, with Marcus Rashford leading the line for much of the first half of the season. But the England international would rather line up on the left, as would Cody Gakpo, the Dutchman who is reportedly their primary transfer target this winter.

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Vlahovic has now emerged as a possibility at Old Trafford. The Serbia striker turned down Arsenal for Juventus in January, but the Old Lady have since run into financial and legal trouble which has seen most of their board resign, and Vlahovic could become available sooner than was expected.

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But United would be better served going for his compatriot Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been lighting up the Premier League with Fulham.

Bang for your buck?

Let us start with their relative values. Vlahovic is rated at €65.3 million by Football Transfers in-house algorithm, Mitrovic €22.7m, the latter would come in at significantly cheaper, even if he is six years the Juventus man’s senior.

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But at 28, Fulham’s start striker remains in his prime, and unlike Vlahovic he has a proven track record in the Premier League. Only Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Ivan Toney have outscored him this season, and Mitrovic’s nine goals in 12 games have also been scored at a better rate than Vlahovic’s six in 10 for Juventus in Serie A.

There is a reason Vlahovic sits on the bench while Mitrovic leads the line for Serbia. They may not have escaped Group D at the World Cup, but Mitrovic still scored twice in three games and was met with a hero’s welcome when he came home.

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None of the above makes Vlahovic a bad player, but he could prove a poor investment given how talented, cheap, and tailor made for the point of the Man Utd attack his compatriot could be.

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