Recent reports have claimed that the 22-year-old is a player that the Red Devils are keeping an eye on at present, with the club potentially set to allow misfiring forward Cristiano Ronaldo to depart in the winter window.
The Serbia international only signed for the Serie A outfit earlier this year for a reported fee of around £67m, although the suggestion is that the ruthless marksman could be moved on if the Old Lady were to receive an offer in the region of €100m (87m).
Transfer insider Dean Jones – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – has now provided his verdict on the former Fiorentina man, suggesting that the 16-cap gem shares a likeness to Manchester City’s lethal figure, Erling Haaland: “Vlahovic is a bit like Haaland.
“He is just unbelievable with what he can do – his positioning, his runs and his style of play. His confidence, at times, is ridiculous.”
Manager Erik ten Hag is seemingly in need of increased firepower at present, with the attacking unit having been something of a “problem” of late, according to journalist Samuel Luckhurst, having only scored 18 times in the league so far this season.
The aforementioned Ronaldo has notably netted just three times in all competitions – two of which came against unfancied opponents FC Sheriff in the Europa League – while fellow striker Anthony Martial has been blighted by injury since the start of the season.
A new striking addition could well be a necessity if United are to break into the top four, with the club seemingly paying the price for continually signing short-term options to lead the line, including the likes of Edinson Cavani and Odion Ighalo in recent years.
The desperate capture of the latter man in February 2020 came in the same window in which then-boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been chasing compatriot Haaland, only for the explosive talent to opt to move to Borussia Dortmund.
The Norwegian menace has left those at the Theatre of Dreams ruing that failure since then, with the Leeds-born ace notably hitting the ground running since his recent summer switch to the Etihad, scoring 23 goals in all competitions including a lethal treble in the Manchester derby.
While Vlahovic has not managed to get close to that tally – with eight goals in 15 games this season – there is no doubt a real likeness between the pair, with the youthful duo, who are the same age, both towering figures with a real cannon of a left foot.
Equally, the two men share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities, as per FBref, with the Juve giant notably ranking in the top 10% in Europe for total shots, while his counterpart is only slightly ahead as he ranks in the top 6% for the same metric.
The Allianz Stadium starlet has enjoyed a similar rise to the elite level as that of Haaland – who has featured in Norway, Austria, Germany and now in England – starting out in his homeland with Partizan Belgrade, before earning a move to Florence in 2018, eventually scoring 49 goals in just 108 games for the Italian side.
A change in scenery could also help the 6 foot 3 colossus truly catch fire amid potential struggles in his current surroundings, with Gates suggesting that the youngster is a “Ferrari being driven like a Fiat“, such is his misuse under Max Allegri.
Linking up with Ten Hag could well be an ideal solution for both United and the player himself, with the Red Devils needing a prolific presence of their own to try and match Haaland’s exploits across the city.