Monday, December 10, 2018

Luka Jovic: Serbian Falcao Finally Living Up to High Expectations

Milos Markovic in Bundesliga, Editorial 13 Nov 2018

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His road to prominence was long and painful one but Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic is finally collecting fruit of his hard labour as Europe’s top clubs circle around him in amazement.

People were struggling to contain laughter and had at best considered it a price-boosting assessment when Crvena Zvezda general manager Zvezdan Terzic in 2014 compared then a young Luka Jovic with one of the world’s most lethal strikers – Radamel Falcao.

“Luka Jovic is going to ‘explode’ this season, he is going to be the Serbian Radamel Falcao”, Terzic’s words echoed at the beginning of the 2014/15 season.

Serbian Falcao

Half a season later and plenty of fingers were being pointed at both the Crvena Zvezda high ranking official and the young striker, who failed to score a single goal for his club before the winter break. Six goals in 21 Super Liga appearances and further five in 19 league matches the following campaign provided little proof to support Terzic’s ambitious claim.

It would appear that Zvezdan Terzic knew what he was talking about all along, however, as Luka Jovic would go on to become one of the most lethal strikers in Europe in the early stages of the 2018/19 campaign.

Two goals in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3-0 beating of Schalke in the 11 round of Bundesliga saw Luka Jovic bag a brace which took his tally to nine league goals. Two players alone – across the European continent – have thus far scored more goals:

  • Kylian Mbappe (PSG, Ligue 1) – 11 goals in 9 games
  • Emiliano Sala (Nantes, Ligue 1) – 11 goals in 12 games

Krzysztof Piatek of Genoa, Leo Messi and Luis Suarez are on par with the Serbian Falcao which speaks volumes of Jovic’s impressive goalscoring form.

His five-goal glut in a 7-1 demolition of Fortuna Dusseldorf remains remembered as his most outstanding feat this season. Not only has Luka Jovic become the first Eintracht Frankfurt to register such a haul in the Bundesliga, but there was a certain swagger about the way he did it. Jovic exhibited high level of athleticism and awareness which perfectly complement his commendable work rate and tenaciousness.

Hitting the Top Gear

Nine Bundesliga goals have propelled Luka Jovic to the top of Germany’s scoring charts, one goal ahead of teammate Sebastien Haller, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Alassane Plea and a Dortmund duo – Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer.

Luka Jovic has been averaging 3.3 shots per game according to Who Scored stats, while his pass success percentage stands at impressive 71.8%. The most astonishing piece of Luka Jovic-related stats is the fact he’s been averaging a goal every hour – 62.3 minutes to be more precise. To put things into a wider perspective, the Serbia international is boasting a better goals-to-minutes ratio than legends such as Gerd Muller (105) and Robert Lewandowski (112).

Fine displays at Eintracht Frankfurt have earned Luka Jovic a Serbian national team call-up for the forthcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Montenegro and Lithuania.

Luka Jovic will try to challenge the Fulham battering ram Aleksandar Mitrovic for a place in the starting line-up and will hope his wide-range attributes will be taken under consideration as Mladen Krstajic looks to grab another win and keep up the unbeaten run in the competition.

Serbia have been installed as 2/5 favourites to defeat Montenegro in Belgrade on Saturday and those believing Luka Jovic will be given a chance to shine can find him at an 11/8 price to score in this match.

Valuable Option for Serbia

Unlike Aleksandar Mitrovic who likes to anchor himself in the centre of the final third and muscle his way around the opposing players, Luka Jovic is a more mobile striker whose off-ball movement could award Serbia with an extra edge upfront.

Should Luka Jovic get a chance in any of the forthcoming matches during the November international break it will be a fine chance for clubs such as Bayern Munich and Napoli to get a different perspective on their target.

Bundesliga heavyweights are said to be scouting the Serbian with Niko Kovac keen to reunite with a player he helped a great deal during the last season at Frankfurt. At the same time, Partenopei are on the lookout for attacking reinforcements and could make a pounce for the Serbian starlet.

Jovic’s style of play could be a good fit with both clubs and with the way he is performing at the moment there is no doubt that the line of interested parties will only get longer before the end of the season.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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