Scout Report – Stevan Jovetic

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Last Friday saw Man City make a couple of significant moves in the summer transfer market. Having acquired Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla earlier in the day, Manuel Pellegrini added to his forward options by snapping up Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina in a deal reported to be in the region of £22m. The 23-year-old Montenegro international is the club’s fourth signing of the close-season, following Fernandinho, Jesus Navas and Negredo to the Etihad as Pellegrini sets about restructuring his first-team ahead of his debut season at the helm:

The subject of plenty interest over the summer, Jovetic is thought to have rejected the advances of both Arsenal and Juventus to join up at the Etihad. Speaking to the club’s official website, he revealed that City’s long-term pursuit was key to his decision, with City centre-half Matija Nastasic also playing a part in persuading him to make the move to the Premier League:

“Manchester City has wanted me for a long time, more than everyone else. They have a big project here and are always fighting for the Champions League and Premier League. This is the reason I came here. I also spoke with Nastasic who tells me good things about Manchester and the players and everything here. He sent me messages every week telling me to come. Now I am here and look forward to playing with him every week.”

The History

Starting his career as a 16-year-old for Partizan Belgrade, Jovetic produced 13 goals and 10 assists over 51 league games between 2006 and 2008, with a further 10 goals arriving in 10 European and domestic cup matches. His performances caught the eye of Fiorentina, with La Viola splashing out £8m for Jovetic’s services in May 2008.

The six foot one forward’s first season in Serie A was a transitional one, however, with just two goals and a pair of assists delivered from 29 matches. Jovetic stepped up a level in 2009/10, with six goals and 10 assists from 29 appearances, but his progress was halted the next year after a cruciate ligament injury ruled him out for the entire 2010/11 campaign. Returning from injury, he racked up 27 goals and 11 assists over 58 Serie A matches in his final couple of seasons at the club.

On the international stage, Jovetic notched twice in six appearances for the Montenegro Under 21s and has turned out for the senior side on 27 occasions, finding the net 10 times.

The Prospects

Mainly utilised as a forward in a 3-5-2 formation at Fiorentina last term, Jovetic is a versatile type who has the ability to play in a number of positions under Pellegrini. While fellow new boy Negredo is a more one-dimensional, typical centre-forward, the Montenegro international summed up his all-round game by saying:

“I’m a forward who is good in one-on-one situations. That’s my best quality and I think my best years are ahead of me. I have played in a lot of systems. I can play as a striker, behind the striker or on the left. I think and I hope I can score between 15 and 20 goals in all competitions this season.”

Pellegrini’s penchant for a 4-2-2-2 system should prove beneficial to Jovetic, then, but with Aguero, Negredo, David Silva and Jesus Navas all vying for the four advanced roles, in addition to the options provided by Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko, rest and rotation will surely come into effect.

With both Negredo and Sergio Aguero perceived as more natural goalscorers, it’s unlikely that Jovetic would get the nod to lead the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation, for example, with a role in “the hole” or even wide left a possibility. His trickery in possession and eye for a killer pass may be more suited to a more withdrawn, playmaker role, thus reducing his appeal as a Fantasy prospect –indeed, as mentioned in the Negredo Scout Report, Aguero could still be the forward to earn most game time under Pellegrini, due to his ability to play either of the central roles up top.

Both new boys have yet to be listed in the Fantasy games, though a price of 9.5 looks likely for Jovetic and Negredo in Fantasy Premier League – less than Aguero but clearly more than the 7.5 priced Dzeko, who looks forced further down the pecking order on the back of Friday’s business. At that price, Negredo would likely be the better value due to his advanced role though much depends on just how much Pellegrini plans to utilise the depth of his squad over all competitions – it may well be that Fantasy managers are faced with the same dilemma posed by Roberto Mancini, where we’re anxiously awaiting the team sheets every weekend.

At present, then, it’s hard to see past Aguero as the man most likely in terms of security, though the remaining pre-season games will hopefully give us a window into the new manager’s thinking. With home games against Newcastle and Cardiff and a trip to Hull in the opening three, the platform is certainly there for Pellegrini’s side to rack up the goals and get their season off to a quick-fire start as they look to reclaim the title from neighbours United.

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About chronicralph

A raging sports enthusiast.

Posted on July 22, 2013, in Football and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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