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Luka Jovic: The Eintracht Frankfurt loanee who has Europe’s big boys extremely interested

February 28, 2019January 6th, 2022

BREAKING NEWS: Luka Jovic will definitely be sold this summer. Unibet can also reveal the buyers and the fee. The Serbian wunderkind will go to Eintracht Frankfurt for a ridiculously low €6m. 

Okay, perhaps you knew as much already. The 21-year-old has been at the Commerzbank-Arena on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica since the summer of 2017 – for a mere €100,000 if reports are correct – but there’s no doubt at all that the Bundesliga club will exercise their very attractively-priced option to make the forward’s move permanent.

The more interesting question is what will happen next. The temptation will be huge to “flip” him in the same window and make a profit in the region of 1,200 per cent. His value must be at least €70m now.

Following a string of strong showings last season, the current campaign under Adi Hütter has been so prolific that Germany’s leading goal-scorer (15 in the league, 6 in the Europa League) has the creme of European clubs queuing up to secure his signature.

Barcelona have long been scouting the bustling striker extensively; Real Madrid, Bayern and Chelsea are interested, too. You’d be mad not to be. Jovic isn’t just extraordinarily prolific  – his key performance numbers are not significantly worse than Sergio Agüero’s this season – but especially noteworthy considering his age and the club he plays for.

Many forwards don’t truly hit their purple patch until the mid twenties, by which time they have progressed to elite sides. Jovic scoring this many goals at Eintracht marks him out as one of a handful top prospects at his U23 age group, only surpassed by the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappé.

(Source: understat.com)

Everybody wants him but the race for him will probably be decided by the club that needs him most and is therefore willing to push the hardest. Will it be Barcelona? On the face of it, they could do with some fresh blood now that Luis Suarez is probably a little bit past his best.

Jovic, hard-working  and happy to run into the box from wide angles, looks like a perfect successor to the Uruguayan. Whether Barcelona are able to spend so much money is doubtful, however; they would probably have to offload Coutinho first. Suarez’s fine form in the recent Clasico might further weaken the Catalans’ appetite to spend big bucks on a player still in development. 

For Bayern, the advantage of pairing him up with manager Niko Kovac once more must be weighed against the specific demands of the squad. For more than a decade now, they have (mostly) played with a big(ish) target man upfront. Signing Jovic would prove a departure from that blue-print and also lead to question about Robert Lewandowski’s future.

The Polish forward is probably versatile enough to play just ahead of the rumoured new recruit Timo Werner. Lewandowski, Werner AND Jovic would prove an overkill, however. Unless Bayern are looking to sell “Lewy” – there are no signs of that, so far – buying Jovic would create more problems than it would solve.

The same cannot be said of Real Madrid, however. If the Spaniards are to shelf their pursuit of Neymar and Mbappé for another year, at least, the attraction of a young, up-and-coming striker to take over from Karim Benzema is obvious. On top of that, Jovic has best worked in a three-pronged attack.

Madrid are one of the handful of clubs who can and want to play with three out-and-out forwards. Adding him to a new squad built around the needs of Eden Hazard would provide plenty of dynamism. Is he enough of a Galactico for the tastes of president Florentino Perez, however?

Jovic’s relatively young age and low profile off the pitch might ultimately work against him in that respect. That leaves Chelsea. It’s no secret that the Blues have struggled to find a regular goal-scorer since Diego Costa’s move back to Atletico. Jovic won’t be able to lead the line in the same way – few forwards are – but he would certainly offer a more dynamic and long-term solution up front than Gonzalo Higuain.

If Abramovich is serious about building a new team ready to challenge in the Premier League and in the Champions League once more, he could do a lot worse than to look at Jovic.