I’m not the new Zlatan! Vlahovic dismisses comparisons and reveals how close he really came to Arsenal transfer

The Serbian striker saw a move to Emirates Stadium mooted during the January window, but he is now looking to prove his worth at Juventus

Dusan Vlahovic has seen his stock soar to the point that he was wanted by leading clubs across Europe in January 2022, but the powerful frontman insists he never came close to joining Arsenal and is eager to avoid any comparisons with Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 22-year-old scored 41 goals across a season-and-a-half at Fiorentina before completing a €70 million (£60m/$73m) move to Juventus in the last transfer window.

He has found the target on a further nine occasions for the Bianconeri, with his physicality and neat footwork seeing him likened to former Juve frontman Ibrahimovic, but Vlahovic is keen to become a superstar in his own right.

The Serbia international told The Telegraph of comparisons to an enigmatic talent who spent two seasons with Juve between 2004 and 2006: “Comparing players with great champions who have scored 400, 500 goals in their careers, who have won 20 or 30 titles, is probably a little unfair!

“It doesn’t annoy me but it’s also true that when those types of comparison are made and then you make one or two mistakes and the expectations have been hyped then you get critiqued.

“We all have the right to make mistakes; we are all human. I want to have my own career.”

When the winter window of 2022 swung open, Vlahovic was one of the most sought-after performers on the planet.

Premier League heavyweights Arsenal were among those said to be keen, as they prepared to offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona, but a man who ultimately ended up in Turin insists that he never came close to heading for Emirates Stadium.

Vlahovic added on links to the Gunners: “Maybe my agent knows [about Arsenal’s offer] but I never talked to anyone about it.

“I just had one club in my mind because Juventus is Juventus. There is nothing else to say, and now I feel honoured to be given this jersey. It’s incredible every time I put it on.

“I definitely identify with their DNA. The Juventus personality coincides with my personality. When you come here you never give up, you fight all the time, you make the sacrifices. This was definitely what I was looking for.”