Chiesa or Vlahovic: Who Should Be the Sacrificial Lamb at Juventus?

Unfortunately for Serie A, the departure of the league’s most scintillating stars is no longer a novelty. Sandro Tonali’s devastating switch from Milan to Newcastle United perfectly symbolizes the waning financial powers of Italy’s top flight. Aside from the recently-emerging Saudi Pro League and its extravagant spending, most European leagues have been reduced to feeders that serve the almighty English Premier League.

But while the majority of Serie A clubs are struggling to balance the books, the woes at Juventus are on a whole different level. The fallen giants endured a horrific campaign plagued by legal and financial troubles. A 10-point deduction as a result of the Plusvalenze trial was enough to catapult the club from a Champions League spot to a 7th place that can only grant them access to Europe’s third-tier competition, the Conference League (barring potential UEFA sanctions).

Therefore, the lack of Champions League prize money could spark a high-profile exit at Juventus this summer, with the two main suspects being Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic.

So if it comes down to a showdown between the two former Fiorentina stars, which one should the Old Lady maintain, and who should be the sacrificial lamb?

Romanticized Partnership?

When Juventus first signed Vlahovic in January 2022, the fans envisioned a mouth-drooling partnership with Chiesa once the latter would complete his return from an agonizingly long layoff. After all, the two stars had played side-by-side at the Artemio Franchi in the past.

But perhaps the Black-and-White supporters have laid exaggerated expectations on the duo, romanticizing a partnership that didn’t truly flourish in Florence. When the Italian winger was mesmerizing the nation with his dazzling displays, the Serbian striker was still making his first steps in the first team.

Therefore, the two hardly had the time to build a chemistry and cement themselves as a genuine duo. Moreover, Massimiliano Allegri’s currently-adopted 3-5-2 formation might hinder their chances to shine together in one lineup.

The Case for Vlahovic

In the current day and age, football is suffering from a noticeable lack of natural target men. This summer, a host of top European clubs (like Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid) are hustling in search of a true Number 9.

So if you possess a genuine bomber who’s still several years ahead of his peak years, you’d be wise to hold him tight.

Thus, Juventus must carefully contemplate their choices before deciding to give up on Vlahovic. Although the 23-year-old endured a complicated campaign, his exploits in Tuscany remain fresh in the memory.

The Case Against Vlahovic

As we mentioned above, the Partizan youth product suffered from physical issues, inconsistent form and lack of goals during a below-average 2022/23 campaign.

Nevertheless, he still has a market thanks to his comprehensively more explosive term at Fiorentina. So at this point, the Bianconeri can still recoup the vast majority, if not the entirety, of the figure spent on the striker almost 18 months ago.

However, another dark campaign under the guidance of Allegri would dramatically reduce his transfer value. Good luck selling him for a lucrative fee by then. Furthermore, the player’s constant groin pain is showing no signs of disappearing anytime soon.

So if selling Vlahovic would be a risky move on the club’s part, betting on him for another season could be as perilous.

The Case for Chiesa

For a large section of Juventus fans, the notion of sacrificing Chiesa is blasphemy. The winger swiftly cemented himself as a fan favorite at the Allianz Stadium following his arrival in 2020, even if it concurred with the end of the club’s winning dynasty

The 25-year-old was one of the few bright spots in the club’s current Dark Age; an explosive star who can make all the difference with one ferocious run at the opposition.

With Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria all out of the club, Chiesa is one of the few (if not solitary) remaining ballers able to inspire in the final third.

In some regards, getting rid of the Euro 2020 hero would be a suicidal mission for the Old Lady.

The Case Against Chiesa

Although the player made his triumphant return from a horrendous ACL injury, we’re only seeing glimmers of the star player who left Serie A defenses in his wake prior to January 2022.

Naturally, recovering from such cruel blows requires an extensive period, so Allegri had always reiterated that the “real Chiesa” wouldn’t show up before the 2023/24 campaign. Yet, history tells us that some stars never quite restore their full powers following this type of injury.

Speaking of the Juventus manager, his presence could be another decisive factor that pushes the player out of the door. While the Livorno native is probably looking to maintain his now-favorite 3-5-2 lineup, it’s difficult to see where an offensive winger like Chiesa can fit into the equation. Last season, he was deployed as a second striker, a wingback and even a center forward, but the results were far from convincing.

Finally, the Italian’s contract expires in 2025, so this could be the club’s last chance to sell him for a sizeable fee. Unless the management can put his signature on a new deal, the club would likely lose his services for a relatively low fee next summer or as a free agent in 2025 – thus replicating Paulo Dybala’s debacle.


As we can gather from the above, the future of both Chiesa and Vlahovic is a major dilemma for Juventus. On one hand, we’re talking about an impulsive winger who brings the X-factor to the final third, and one of the most coveted young strikers in the game.

However, both stars’ values would dramatically decrease if they were to endure another underwhelming campaign in Turin. Thus, maintaining their services could be equally risky, especially for an economically-struggling club.

Therefore, making at least one sacrifice to the Calciomercato gods could be inevitable. Ultimately, it’s the market that will decide rather than the club itself. In other words, Juventus will end up selling the star that attracts the more enticing bid.

But if the Bianconeri were allowed to pick their poison, then perhaps they should maintain Chiesa at the expense of Vlahovic. Either way, the directors could end up biting their fingers, but at the moment, the club doesn’t have an alternative who can replicate the Italian’s prowess (with all due respect to the likes of Timothy Weah and Filip Kostic).

On the other hand, Arkadiusz Milik can be clinical and decisive in front of goal if provided with adequate service. The former Napoli upstaged Vlahovic during the first half of the last campaign before an injury derailed his momentum.

How the intertwining sagas of Vlahovic and Chiesa will play out is anyone’s guess, while the major significance of the decision is the solitary certainty for Juventus.

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