Former Croatia forward Alen Boksic has backed his compatriot Mario Mandzukic to chalk up 20 goals for Juventus this season.
Former Bayern Munich striker Mandzukic endured a below-par start to life in Turin after joining the Serie A champions from Atletico Madrid but has scored three times in the past four matches – all strikes contributing to Juventus wins.
Boksic, who played for Lazio and Juve during his time in Italy, feels supporters are now seeing the best of Mandzukic and that he was a victim of the club’s own stuttering start to their title defence.
“I think their disappointment [with Mandzukic] was mainly the result of a difficult time for the team, Boksic told Tuttosport.
“It is easy to switch from the Champions League final [defeat to Barcelona] to a start of the season and have so many problems.
“In recent they have both grown – Juventus and Mandzukic. It is not a coincidence.”
Mandzukic converted pinpoint crosses from Alex Sandro and Paulo Dybala to open the scoring in last week’s victories over Manchester City and Palermo and Boksic believes improved service from the flanks will allow the 29-year-old to breach the 20-goal mark.
“Let’s talk about one of the best headers at the European level,” he added. “Mario is really good [in the air], it is his specialty.
“With the growth of Dybala and more supplies from the wings he will score more. For what I know of him, this is just the beginning. I see him growing.”
Boksic added: “If he is healthy he can get 20 goals. When fit, he always does.”