Arsenal continued to be linked with a move to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic this January, and his former sporting director seems to think it would be a good move.
The 21-year-old is one of Europe’s most exciting young talents at the moment, and it seems he’s always been very highly regarded by his old club Partizan Belgrade.
Partizan chief Ivica Iliev spoke to the Daily Mirror about Vlahovic’s rise to the top, and insisted that the Serbia international can still keep improving and become one of the best in the world.
He stressed, however, that he thinks Vlahovic should choose his next club carefully, and named Arsenal as an ideal choice for the youngster to ensure he’s playing regularly.
“I hope, for the moment at a club where there is not too much competition, a club who will give him space – for example, I think Arsenal is one of these clubs,” he said.
“I am waiting for the moment he signs for a top top club, for me it is normal that every top club in the world wants him, I think the whole of Europe wants him, now I hope that he will sign for the best club for his career.
“He needs to choose the best place for his career because he is still so young and has a lot of years in front of him to improve and become one of the biggest and best strikers in the world.”
That could certainly be one advantage that the Gunners have over other European giants, with Mikel Arteta in clear need of a big-name signing up front to come in as a long-term replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
This means Vlahovic will almost certainly have a team built around him at the Emirates Stadium, which might not be the case elsewhere, even if he’d surely win more trophies with a move to someone like Manchester City or Liverpool.
Iliev also said it was pretty obvious even when he was just 16 years of age that Vlahovic was a huge talent in the making.
“His individual quality was strong and even in that moment we all said that he would be something special you know. I think at the age of 16 he showed us that he had really, really big talent,” Iliev said.
“In that moment, in 2016 I remember one of the biggest scouts from one of the biggest clubs in the world came here to speak about our academy and he said that in his age group and in his position he is the biggest talent in the world.”
Arsenal legend Michael Thomas recently spoke to CaughtOffside about why he’d like his old club to do whatever it takes to sign Vlahovic.