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Why a loan for Luka Jovic is Arsenal’s most sensible route in wake of Dusan Vlahovic disappointment

Why a loan for Luka Jovic is Arsenal’s most sensible route in wake of Dusan Vlahovic disappointment

When Juventus come calling they usually get what they want when it comes to the best and brightest that ply their trade in Serie A, and that reality has reared its ugly head once again surrounding the future of Fiorentina’s Serbian starlet Dušan Vlahović.

The 21-year-old FK Partizan academy graduate looks primed for a move to the Allianz Stadium after fresh reports surfaced stating that both Arsenal and Tottenham were not in the running for the Belgrade-native after their offers were not to be considered by the player and his representatives.

Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano corroborated those reports roughly an hour ago after reporting that La Vecchia Signora had agreed to terms with La Viola over securing his services with only the final touches on contract negotiations left to conclude.

Barring any last-minute changes, it brings to an end a long-standing transfer saga involving Arsenal as the Gunners spent weeks trying to convince the Serbian international to leave Firenze for north London and become arguably the keystone piece of the long-term project under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates.

Despite the many attempts by Edu Gaspar to convince Vlahović of the project at Arsenal, the Serbian was never entirely keen on a move and the situation shares similarities with the Gunners’ pursuit of Italian international Manuel Locatelli over the summer who also eventually landed a move to Juventus.

Loan for Luka Jović could prove a masterstroke

Yes, missing out on Dušan Vlahović is certainly a frustration for many Arsenal supporters, but what’s more, is perhaps it is a not-so-friendly reminder of where the club actually is in its current iteration.

History aside, the best and brightest in Europe still will not see the club as a preferred destination over the true elite across the continent. Not yet. But despite that, Arsenal can continue to place faith in a project that has already yielded credible results this summer given their transfer record in the first period where the new regime was able to finally operate in a forward-thinking manner rather than through the lens of damage control.

In that same light, the hierarchy can make similar decisions before the window slams shut in just a few days’ time if it was to make a move for another Serbian striker in Real Madrid’s Luka Jović after the 24-year-old was offered to the Gunners in a January loan deal.

Why a loan for Luka Jovic is Arsenal’s most sensible route in wake of Dusan Vlahovic disappointment

MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 18: David Abraham of Eintracht Frankfurt, Sebastien Haller of Eintracht Frankfurt and Luka Jovic of Eintracht Frankfurt celebrate after their team’s first goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Allianz Arena on May 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Jović was, in essence Vlahović before Vlahović. It was only four years ago that the Red Star Belgrade youth product was sent to Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt on a two-year loan and it was not before long that the Bijeljina-native was one of the hottest young assets in Europe. After a 2018-19 campaign that saw him bag 27-goals in 48-appearances across all competitions for Die Adler, former club sporting director Fredi Bobic could not have dreamed up a better scenario and was hopeful of a potential cash windfall at the formerly known Commerzbank Arena after sealing his move from SL Benfica.

Bobic got just that when Frankfurt received three times what they paid (€22m) when Real Madrid purchased Jović that same summer for €63million. And though he was highly-touted and rightfully, such a move came far too soon for a player who was not ready to go from the banks of the Main to the Spanish capital.

Once compared to Luiz Suárez by Mladen Krstajić, there is still a very gifted player there despite his hardships since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu and his subsequent failure to make any impact of note.

A keen eye for goal highlights a player profile that Arsenal could certainly do with at the minute, but more importantly, a loan deal would gift the club another chance to utilize the same pathway it took with Norwegian star Martin Ødegaard.

Now a key piece of the puzzle under Arteta, Ødegaard – like Jović – hardly got a sniff with the Spanish giants and was in desperate need of a long-term move away from the club after loan stints with Vitesse Arnhem, SC Heerenveen, and Real Sociedad offered definitive proof that a very gifted player still existed in his frame despite not being able to settle to life in Madrid.

A loan for Jović solves two immediate needs; depth in the center-forward channel beyond Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah (both of whom are destined to leave in the summer), and a player who fits the recruitment profile of the summer who has everything to gain from a potential first-choice opportunity. One that he has not had in three seasons.

More importantly, there is little-to-no risk for Arsenal in sealing such a deal, especially if no obligation to buy clause is inserted into any terms that could be struck. If the club wants to continue to champion smart business while not allowing themselves to be forced to pay over the odds for players the likes of Alexander Isak during a window that is notoriously difficult to navigate, then Luka Jović makes all the sense in the world.

This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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