The new Roberto Baggio? What can Chelsea fans expect from top target Stevan Jovetic?
The Montenegro star has already been compared to Roberto Baggio, but what is he really like as a player? How would he fit into Chelsea's team?
Our Serie A expert, footballitaliano.co.uk 's Mina Rzouki has the answers.
The epitome of creativity, Stevan Jovetic’s artistry is the beacon that lights up Serie A's Fiorentina side.
Technically brilliant and outstandingly gifted, the Montenegrin certainly possesses the potential to be our generation’s next great player.
The diminutive star who boasts a wide range of passing and ruthless ability in front of goal first stole the headlines when he destroyed Liverpool in the Champions League in 2009 before grabbing a brace against Bayern Munich a few months later.
At only 19, Fiorentina soon realised they possessed a dynamite footballer within their ranks with the confidence and character to score on the big stage.
Born in Podgorica, the small but beautiful capital of Montenegro, Jovetic once revealed in an interview with Mediaset Premium that so fascinated was he by football that he never played with his other toys, preferring to stick with his ball and practice his skills.
He was soon scoring many goals as a youngster and was playing alongside the son of Dejan Savicevic - the legendary Montenegrin who soon noticed Jovetic’s talent and alerted Red Star Belgrade.
It didn't work out for him there and he was soon discarded so he made his way to Partizan where he became club captain thanks to his professionalism and hardworking approach to the game.
The Italians soon came calling. “Fiorentina was, to a certain extent, part of my destiny," he once said. "When I was at Partizan, I had Batistuta’s goals on my phone.” It is the Tuscan club that has given him the platform to show off and develop his skills.
Starting out as a playmaker with the Italians, he admitted that he "initially struggled to adapt to a different style of football that is more technical, more difficult and tougher."
Cesare Prandelli, Fiorentina’s then coach, implied that he was yet to learn how to play for the team. However, it didn’t take too long before his ingenuity, exquisite ball control and deadly finishing started to get him noticed by the big clubs.
Having suffered a cruciate ligament injury that kept him out of the game for the majority of last season, the fact he’s managed 12 goals in 17 appearances this term is a testament to his determination to succeed.
What kind of player is he?
Capable of playing in different positions and various formations, Jovetic has been deployed as a trequartista, a left sided attacker and central striker this season.
While he’s excelled in all the roles, allowing his side to create continually on the left wing, his best position appears to be in the middle at the top. He's played there on nine different occasions in Serie A this season, and managed seven goals and one assist. With an average of five shots per game, he’s just as happy at creating as he is at scoring.
How would he fit into Chelsea's team?
Should Chelsea succeed in their bid to bring him to London, then he can be deployed as the left-side attacking player in their 4-3-3 formation or in a more withdrawn role behind the front three. Alternatively, for an extra creative forward line, he can play alongside Juan Mata behind a lone centre-forward or be played as supporting striker alongside Fernando Torres.
But he is most effective when played closer to goal so as to exploit his clinical finishing.
However, he is a player capable of creating attacking movements and if played in midfield, the team is still virtually guaranteed a spectacular performance even if it means less goals.
Jovetic really doesn’t have very many. But as a small player who loves the ball at his feet, he struggles in the air and rarely wins aerial duels.
His other weakness lies in his crossing, a quality he must work on. He’ll always opt to pass the ball to his intended target as opposed to crossing the ball for it to be headed in.
Already being compared to Roberto Baggio, the little Montenegrin who bears a striking resemblance to Queen’s Brian May (it’s the hair!) is not only a creative genius and technical star, he’s also a quiet leader who enjoys responsibility and appreciates the fans’ affections.
Chelsea will have to do a lot to prise the player away from the clutches of the Tuscan club.
Asked about a potential move, his agent said: “Stevan is happy with the Viola, his future is in Tuscany. The call from big clubs? We are not interested, the boy has a long contract with Fiorentina.”
However, if any club can persuade him and Fiorentina to do business, it's mega-rich Chelsea. Aside from the cash, Jovetic has made no secret of his desire to one day play in the Premier League.