Midfielder | Dinamo Zagreb | Croatia
It’s very easy to compare an up and coming youngster to an established star and place unnecessary pressure on the shoulders of a player just trying to find his own footballing identity.
But with Nikola Moro, talk of him being the next Luka Modric is more than justified. The defensive midfielder is the latest youngster to emerge during Croatian football’s golden era.
While he is a defensive midfielder, he’s more of a deep playmaker who looks to drive the ball forward, beat players and join in the attacking phase. Moro has shown incredible maturity for a player so young, with impressive vision, nimble foot work and an ability to read the game well and break down attacks when out of possession.
There’s no doubting Moro has a bright future in the game but it will be interesting to see how he deals with the Modric comparisons and the pressure that comes with them.
2018 has been…
…incredibly unfair. It all started well for Moro as the Dinamo Zagreb academy product continued to make strides in the first team. His form and subsequent development had many tipping him as an outside bet for a call-up to Croatia’s World Cup squad, despite not yet being capped for his country, and the media linking him with a big money move to Manchester United.
But then disaster struck in March as Moro suffered cruciate ligament injury that left him sidelined until October. It was incredibly bad luck for Moro, who was on the verge of making a real splash on the European stage and potentially being a part of Croatia’s fairytale journey to the World Cup final.
His return to action has been a slow process, spending much of the time turning out for Dinamo’s reserves as he gradually gets back to his best. In November he completed his first 90 minutes since returning from injury and he is beginning to look like Nikola Moro we were getting used to.
Suffering such a big injury so young shouldn’t damage Moro’s chances of reaching his full potential but he’ll just have to be a lot more careful now and we’ll have to be a bit more patient.
2019 will undoubtedly be the year Moro makes his national team bow but while many had initially tipped him for a big move in the summer, perhaps it would be wise to stay put for a little longer while he gets back to his old self.
If he can put the injury behind him then Moro will be a name we’ll be hearing a lot more of in the very near future.