There are certain players that a person would associate with their shirt numbers if they are brought up in a conversation. Alan Shearer with his inseparable number 9, Lionel Messi who we’ll always see wearing the number 10 shirt, Manchester United’s George Best and Beckham donning the no. 7 jerseys, and many more. After all, for every club and country, there are many sacred shirt numbers that fans feel players need to earn before fully embracing it. But in Dusan Vlahovic’s case, he doesn’t seem like he cares about any of that.
After being heavily linked to Arsenal during the January transfer window, Juventus swooped in and signed the Serbian striker from Fiorentina. Vlahovic is 22 years old and he is the joint top scorer of Serie A at the moment. He caught the attention of several clubs across Europe and Juventus are lucky to have him on their side for the rest of the season.
Vlahovic was revealed as a Juventus player a few days back and a press conference was held. The young Serbian player took the shirt that was previously held by Cristiano Ronaldo after the latter left for Manchester United earlier this season.
Vlahovic said, “The number 7 shirt, frankly, does not represent anything for me. I chose this number because it was the closest to 9″. Vlahovic’s reply reminds us a lot of Mario Balotelli’s comments when he signed for Liverpool a few years back.
Balotelli said in an interview in 2014 that he took the No.45 shirt because four plus five is nine. Balotelli wore the same shirt number for his three previous clubs – AC Milan, Manchester City, and Inter Milan – before playing for Liverpool.
In addition to his first statement, Vlahovic also said, “I know the weight of the number 7 shirt, but all Juve shirts weigh heavy. I am here to help my teammates and make myself available: only all together can we achieve our goals. What counts is how we get on the pitch, not so much the numbers on the shirts.”
Juventus are in 5th place in Serie A at the moment and are 11 points away from the top team, Inter who have a game in hand. Juventus need all hands on deck if they want to pose a serious title challenge and Vlahovic might be just the answer for that.