Armin Hodzic 22 Striker Dinamo Zagreb Bosnia and Herzegovina
Didn’t he use to play for Liverpool? Yes, Armin Hodžic was on the payroll at Anfield for three years from 2011 onward and in that period was unfortunate not to play a single game for the Reds, despite some half-decent performances for the second string.
Born in Sarajevo in November, 1994, the sharp eyed striker was something of a kid prodigy at FK Željezničar, demolishing goal scoring records in the Bosnian youth leagues. Monitored by all of Europe’s major forces, Hodžic swapped the Grbavica Stadium for Merseyside five years ago, but initial work permit delays and a string of injuries compromised the young striker’s time in England. Loaned back to his original club in the autumn of 2012, Hodžic scored his first goal for Plavi in a 2-1 victory over FK Slavija in early April, 2013. Adding three more goals as the season progressed, Željezničar would not lose another league game that season and clinched the 2012-13 Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina title with two matches to spare.
Loaned back to Željezničar for 2013-14, and with his number clearly up at Liverpool, the young Bosnian made sure that other clubs took notice of his prowess with fourteen goals in 23 starts. With his contract up at Liverpool, Hodžic signed on for Dinamo Zagreb, playing only fleetingly as his new club secured the 2014-15 HNL title in comfortable fashion.
2016 has been...
Mixed. With the Chilean Ángelo Henríquez and Duje Cop scoring 45 times in the previous season, things may have been a touch daunting for the young Bosnian, however the absence of the prolific Henríquez for an early season clash with Inter Zapresic offered Hodžic a rare start – an opportunity he seized with considerable aplomb. Three goals in a 5-1 victory meant that the fizzing Chilean was not missed and Hodžic was able to dovetail more regularly with the primary striker, eventually ending the season as a league champion with an impressive thirteen goals from 15 starts.
The current season started well, with Hodžic netting twice against NK Lokomotiva on the opening day, however, at time of writing, he has scored only once in almost four months.
Used only sparingly, and always as second fiddle to the prolific Henriquez, Hodžic has been on the fringes as Dianmo attempt to claw back Rijeka as they look to secure a fourth successive league championship.
This is a particularly tricky period for Armin Hodžic. Clearly some way short of being at the same level of Ángelo Henriquez, he has proved to be less appealing to the current Dinamo coach Ivaylo Petev who has been far more reluctant to use the young striker than Zoran Mamić, his predecessor. There will be a point in the not too distant future when Henriquez moves on, and in that respect Hodžic is a ready-made replacement for the talismanic front man, but the period in between could be damaging. After such a good season last year, this is proving to be a difficult campaign and any thoughts of becoming the heir apparent to Edin Džeko at international level are fanciful to say the least.
C- Pray for injuries to others
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