Dusan Vlahovic: The Serbian striker making a daily appearance in the gossip column

Vlahovic became the youngest player since Gabriel Batistuta to score more than 20 league goals in a season for Fiorentina in 2020-21

Regular readers of the BBC Sport gossip column will recognise the name Dusan Vlahovic.

Barely a day goes by without the Fiorentina striker being linked with a move to the Premier League or another high-profile destination by the English media.

One morning he’s on his way to Manchester City, the next he’s Tottenham’s chosen replacement for Harry Kane. Paris St-Germain have even reportedly considered adding him to their already stacked forward line.

One thing we do know is that a move is coming, with the player refusing to extend a deal that runs out in the summer of 2023.

So who is Vlahovic and why do half of the clubs in Europe want to sign him?

Born in Belgrade, flourishing in Florence

Let’s start with the basics and a bit of history. Vlahovic is a 21-year-old Serb striker, born in Belgrade, where he began his professional career with one of the country’s foremost clubs, Partizan.

He became their youngest player when he made his debut for them against OFK Beograd on 27 February 2016 at the age of 16 years and 24 days.

He would subsequently become their youngest scorer, taking the title from Luka Jovic – now of Real Madrid – when he netted in a 3-2 win over Radnik Surdulica on 2 April.

Rumours of a move to England began back then, but a deal with Serie A side Fiorentina was struck instead, with the forward, then only 18, making the switch to Italy for the 2018-19 season.

Much was expected of him, despite his age, but he would play just a handful of goalless senior games in that first season, starting one Serie A match. He was a regular presence in 2019-20, but his return of six goals in 30 appearances saw some quickly look to write off a player still learning on the job.

The 2020-21 campaign, though, was when he made his mark, fuelled by the faith of Cesare Prandelli, who returned to the club as manager in November 2020 but lasted only until March before resigning.

After one goal in his first 10 league games, Vlahovic exploded into life in late December with an attention-grabbing scoring spree that has yet to ease up.

Since 16 December…

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