22 Defender AIK Sweden
2014 has been...
Alexander Milosevic looks like a central defender. He just looks like you would want a centre-back to look. Tall with a no nonsense hair style. Big, broad shoulders, a strong, robust body and enough acceleration in his legs to react quickly. He looks the part.
Thankfully he can play the part too. Confident in the air, determined in challenges and with sufficient ability to drive out of defence with the ball at his feet Milosevic is, at first glance, somewhere close to the perfect central defender and at just 21, there is time for him to grow.
He has been a great hope of Swedish football for the last three years and in the last 15 months, a collection of teams playing in Europe’s biggest divisions have started to take a good hard luck at him. Fulham are supposed to be long-time admirers but given the shake-up in the club over the same time period, we’re not completely buying into that as a proper link.
However, the fact that he has been able to remain at AIK despite already playing for Sweden’s senior team is telling. There are just too many (small) flaws in his game for any club in the very best leagues to be sure of bringing him in.
Milosevic, born of a Serbian father and Swedish mother, is too good for the Allsvenskan. Just a few minutes spent watching him in action will tell you that. He has a towering presence in defence and rarely looks hassled by the forwards in the league.
However, he’s not far enough above the rest to convince those watching him. It isn’t immediately obvious that he could easily slip into a squad in one of Europe’s biggest league and not miss a beat. He might just be able to; and a pre-season in more competitive surroundings would surely be a wake-up call but that in itself is a risk.
Instead, Alexander has allowed a few chinks to work their way into his game. He can sometimes choose the wrong moment to break forward with the ball and leave his team short and his passing, which is supposed to be a major strength, goes to pot when he is put under pressure by the opposition side. He can pass the ball really well when teams backs off and he has a couple of seconds to steady himself, but when harried he panics and rarely puts the ball where he wants to. When you mix in the usual worries that come from youth and inexperience, it has so far proved enough to stop the offers for now.
However, someone needs to take a punt on him. His height, build and natural reading the game means he can play in better leagues than Sweden. We just don’t know if he needs to try the Netherlands or Portugal before one of the Premier League or Bundesliga sides get their paws on him. France might be the happy medium that will allow him to shake off the cobwebs that have been allowed to settle in because he has been able to stroll around the Swedish top flight. There is a decent defender in there somewhere.
"He’s taken the Swedish top flight by storm and now there isn’t much left for him to do. Treading water until a big move comes along has meant he has got a little lazy; but the basics are still very promising.” – Ryan Keaney
C- In need of a new challenge.
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