Former Juventus and Lecce striker Valeri Bojinov believes Dusan Vlahovic should stay at Juventus and prove himself. The Bulgarian forward worked alongside Vlahovic from 2015-2017 and explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport how the young Serbian always wanted to play for the Bianconeri and what it takes to adapt from other Serie A teams to playing for Old Lady of Italian football:
“Even as a young boy he said he wanted to play for Juventus: he was sure he would become a top player. Now, however, he has to prove his true worth.”
After more than a year in Turin, Dusan is still not back to the level he was in Florence. What is happening to him?
“When you come to a big team, you have to understand that you are surrounded by a group of champions. Fans expect dozens of goals, but it is clear that Vlahovic cannot have the same incisiveness recorded at Fiorentina right away. In addition, he has been unlucky: some physical problems have not allowed him to reach an optimal condition. He must be good at getting back up, finding within himself the strength to react.”
Compared to the times when he shone with Italiano, is Vlahovic struggling to adapt to Juve’s game?
“Fiorentina was banking heavily on Dusan. He was their reference, the team was built to put him in a position to score. At Juve, rightly so, that is not the case. There are dozens of star players and you have to get used to them. At those levels, it is the individual who has to adapt to the team: Milik did that.”
You arrived at Juventus when you were just 20 years old. How much does the Juventus jersey weigh at that age?
“A lot. I was training with Del Piero, Buffon and Nedved, who was also my roommate. Pavel invited me to dinner and told me that, at those levels, you have to get smart and scramble. If you get down, you stay one step behind. The teammates can help you out, but they have to tend to their own little garden as well….”
Meanwhile, Premier League bigwigs have their eyes on Vlahovic. Would a change of scenery be good for him?
“Certain evaluations should be made once Juve know their fate: the position in the standings, participation in the European cups… If I were Dusan, however, I would first try to prove to myself that I am a Juventus player. It is a matter of mental growth, a step that has to be taken at any cost. He has to work on his physique and his mind. As for goals, we already know what he is capable of doing.”
Today Juventus will face Lecce in a crucial challenge for both teams. What kind of match do you expect?
“The Bianconeri are coming from a complicated period, as are the Giallorossi who have, however, picked themselves up in the last game. I think it will be a balanced match. The Salentini get excited against the big teams, while Juve is always Juve. At this stage of the season, the one who is hungrier always wins. The Champions LEague race and the fight for salvation are now in its last throes….”
Do you think Allegri and Baroni’s teams will be able to achieve their season goals?
“I am optimistic about Lecce staying in Serie A. Juve, on the other hand, has a double chance to qualify for the Champions League. They have all the cards to stay in the top four, as well as to win the Europa League. I, however, am rooting for Mourinho, who is a great friend of mine and even invited me to Trigoria….”
The post Bojinov: ‘Vlahovic wanted to play at Juve since he was a kid, he should stay and prove himself’ appeared first on FootItalia.com.