Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Ryan Ross On February - 19 - 2012

Player Focus: Stevan Jovetic

The jewel in Florence’s crown; Stevan Jovetic is being targeted by Premiership big spenders, Chelsea FC. But what who are the London club looking to sign?

Elegance and artistry are two words which best define Jovetic. Leading Fiorentina’s forward line this season, he has sparkled and shown why he is to be considered one of Europe’s best players.

Born in Titograd, in the former Yugoslavia in 1989, Jovetic’s early appearances for local side Mladost Podgorica, began to gain attention from Serbian side Red Star Belgrade. However, he signed for their bitter rivals Partizan.

Such was Jovetic’s commitment to hard-work, combined with a determined streak he became club captain. Scoring his first hat-trick aged 17, in a UEFA Cup Zrinjski in a 5-0 victory in 2007. Performances like this alerted Europe’s big sides, including Manchester United and Real Madrid. But Jovetic concentrated on his current side and then he received a call from a club in Florence.

Fiorentina secured Jovetic’s signature for a reported €8million fee in 2008.  This was the ideal club for the Montenegrin to sign for, he has gone on to excel for Viola and is unquestionably their key-performer.

His first season saw Fiorentina clinch Champion’s League qualification, with Jovetic making 34 appearances. It was a process he described as “a struggle” has he adapted to a more technical league.

2009/10 was his break-out year however. Now able to cope with the rigours of a full Serie A season, he made his mark in the Champion’s League. He single-handedly defeated Liverpool in the group-stage. Whilst netting a brace against Bayern Munich, in a game which saw the Viola crash out after a controversial off-side decision granted the Germans the victory.

Jovetic’s progress was curtailed after suffering a cruciate-ligament injury in pre-season, causing him to miss the entire 2010/11 season.

However, he has fully recovered from it and showed his commitment to Fiorentina’s cause, signing a contract extension until 2016.

Jovetic is a winger-come striker who can play wide left, behind the main striker or as a false-nine (think Leo Messi for Barcelona).

His best position is as a false nine however, providing the creativity hub for his side whilst also scoring regularly. In 17 appearances for the Viola this season, he’s netted 12 goals and assisted a further 2; conveyance of his attitude towards the game and determination to succeed.

Criticisms can be made of Jovetic’s aerial ability and due to his small height, it is a legitimate concern. However, the player’s ability to dribble his way out of trouble more than makes up for it. The sight of Jovetic dribbling at full pace has worried many Serie A defences this season.

Famously compared to Queen’s guitarist, Brian May, due to his infamous hair, Jovetic is beginning to draw more media attention to himself.

On the pitch though, he is renowned as Roberto Baggio’s heir. Again the individualistic hair styles form the link, but so do the creative instinct, the technical touch and an ability to motivate and lift a team. The Montenegrin has been carrying Fiorentina this season and it is due to him that they’re 11th in Serie A.

So what does the future hold for Jo-Jo?

Reports indicate a serious interest from Premier League money-boys Chelsea. Playing alongside the likes of Torres, Mata and Meireles could entice Jo-Jo. But after the Viola rejected a €14million bid in January, they will fight hard to keep their star.

For now, fans of the Viola can enjoy seeing Baggio’s reincarnation leading the attack as their side strives to claim a European qualification spot for next season. It is a sight to behold.

Ryan Ross

I became enthralled with Calcio back in the 90’s, when James Richardson presented Football Italia. My early mornings were spent following the trials and tribulations of Internazionale, during a period where they always flattered to deceive. It took a Frenchman to get me hooked though; Youri Djorkaeff, my favourite player of all time. This guy was key to Inter’s midfield, never mind his role in France’s World Cup win in 1998! I have a keen interest in Calcio’s rich history.

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