Allegri unconcerned by Vlahovic struggles and excited by Milik arrival ahead of Roma test

By Sports Desk August 26, 2022

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insists he is not concerned by Dusan Vlahovic's struggles as the Bianconeri prepare to host fellow Scudetto hopefuls Roma.

Allegri faced fierce criticism from Juventus supporters in the aftermath of Monday's 0-0 draw at Sampdoria, during which Vlahovic managed just nine touches overall, and a mere three before the break. 

No player to take the field for 90 minutes in a Serie A game has had fewer touches since David Trezeguet had eight for Juventus against Catania in May 2008.

Since the start of last season, meanwhile, Vlahovic has scored 26 Serie A goals in 38 appearances, but just nine of those have come since his January move to Juventus (in 17 appearances).

Vlahovic has also gone from averaging a goal every 109 minutes for Fiorentina to scoring every 139 minutes for the Bianconeri, although his big chance conversation rate has risen since his move to Turin (80 per cent, as opposed to 73.33 per cent for Fiorentina last term).

With Juve's lack of creativity becoming a key talking point at the start of the campaign, Allegri is adamant Vlahovic's lack of involvement is not a worry.

"If he touched a ball and scored a goal, I'd be happy," Allegri said. "We had a bad first half with Sampdoria. 

"The games last 95 minutes, I got angry because in the second half the game had to be grasped. They were in trouble, we had opportunities that we didn't take advantage of. 

"It is normal that the performance of the first half should be improved, but there were also the merits of Sampdoria who closed the spaces and made the defenders play a lot.

"Last year we laid the foundations to go back to winning. We will try to do it, we will also see the market as it ends. The fun for me is winning and to do it you have to go through difficult moments. 

"It takes a little patience. That's why the other day, after the first half you had to stay calm because you could only improve."

Vlahovic will now be joined in the Juventus attack by Arkadiusz Milik, who has arrived from Marseille, while Paris Saint-Germain's Leandro Paredes has also been linked with a move to Turin.

Though Allegri refused to be drawn on the future of the Argentina midfielder, he believes Milik could form an effective partnership with Vlahovic and is prepared to throw him in immediately.

"Paredes hasn't arrived yet and I don't know if he will arrive. We need to concentrate on tomorrow's match," he added.

"[I'm] very happy with Milik, he has impressive numbers. As regards his characteristics, he can also play with Vlahovic. 

"We are waiting for the clearance that I hope will arrive in the afternoon, so tomorrow will be available. Since I haven't decided on the line-up yet, maybe I'll let him play from the beginning. But I don't know until tomorrow, this idea flashed on me."

Meanwhile, Juventus have been handed a difficult draw for the Champions League's group stages, where they will meet PSG, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.

And Allegri expects Juve to face a direct battle for second place with the Portuguese outfit, adding: "In the Champions League these are all difficult matches, on paper PSG is stronger. 

"On paper, we play for the next round with Benfica. It is unlikely that there are easy games in Europe."

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