The dust has settled and the transfer window has come and gone.
Yes, the winter transfer window had a flurry of late deals that will help shape the latter part of the season. Teams upgraded, a few downgraded and a large number just stayed put and watched the action go down.
Several big-name players were on the move at this midpoint of the European season, some of whom will try to resurrect their careers in new uniforms while others are taking the step up with added expectations.
Let’s examine some of the biggest moves of the window and toss grades for both clubs involved and the player in question. We will base this on the quality of the deal for each and how it will impact success for all parties going forward. We shall begin with the most expensive deal that went down in January.
Juventus Buys Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina for $92 Million
Arguably the hottest name on the market was Fiorentina’s Serbian goal scorer as the 22-year-old had been banging in goals with regularity in Serie A and got his pick of whom he wanted to join. Breaking onto the scene during the 2020-21 season, Dusan Vlahovic contributed 21 goals and three assists in 37 league matches as Fiorentina’s main striker. He continued that fine form in the first half of this campaign with 17 goals and two assists in 21 games.
Filling the massive void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, and taking his famed No. 7 in the process, Vlahovic was a player that Juventus needed after its disappointing start to the year. The winners of nine consecutive Scudetti prior to last season when Inter took their crown, The Old Lady are currently toiling in fifth place with the fewest number of goals scored (34 goals in 23 matches) among the top nine sides and have hopes of securing a Champions League place as a top priority this season.
Not exactly what you’d expect from the best supported club in all of Italy.
Enter Vlahovic, the prototypical No. 9 who will lead the line and provide the true focal point for Max Allegri’s attack. While he may have left on not the best terms with Fiorentina, the 6’3″ forward will continue to tear up Serie A with his fluid runs and lethal finishing.
If Juve and Paulo Dybala reach an agreement on a new contract, that pair could create a classic small-and-tall striker combo with a variety of tactical approaches, especially given Dybala’s multifaceted attacking abilities.
The move, on the outside feels like something of a lazy one given Vlahovic is staying in league and isn’t yet “testing” himself in the Premier League, or even La Liga, but for all parties involved directly, this is a win-win and one that should get Juve back in punching distance of reclaiming the Serie A title.
Juventus Grade: A
Fiorentina Grade: B
Vlahovic Grade: B+
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Signs for Barcelona on a Free Transfer from Arsenal
The saga is finally over.
After a protracted divorce from Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has a new club, and it’s La Liga giants Barcelona. Cast out from the Gunners squad after a string of behavioral issues, the former club captain was able to offer himself around Europe and landed on Barca as his destination.