Stevan Jovetić 22 Winger/Striker Fiorentina
Granted a first-team debut by Jürgen Röber at Partizan Belgrade aged just sixteen, Jovetić has, six years on, amassed a great deal of experience to go with his wonderful skills.
A hat trick for Partizan in a 5-0 UEFA Cup qualifying romp against Zrinjski in the summer of 2007 and gaining the captaincy of his club the following January confirmed what a large percentage of European clubs already knew about 18 year old Jovetić.
With Real Madrid and Manchester United clear favourites to clinch the signature of the young Montenegrin, Fiorentina pulled off something of a coup by handing over the €8 million Partizan requested in May 2008. Used intermittently during his first season with La Viola, Jovetić cemented his place in the first team with a critical strike against Sporting Clube de Portugal which clinched Fiorentina’s entrance to the Champions League group stages in August 2009. Jovetić single handedly shooting Liverpool down in the same competition a month later.
Following a wonderful season in which Jovetić had been outstanding, the summer of 2010 brought disaster to one of the brightest talents Serie A has witnessed for many years. A cruciate ligament injury to Jovetić’s right knee ensuring he would play no part in the 2010-11 season.
Fiorentina were visibly ill at ease without their talented talisman, but chose to reintroduce the youngster gradually this year. Their patience has been rewarded with Jovetić beginning to pick up where he left off.
Outstanding technical ability and a ruthless efficiency in the box have been on display in the early stages of this season, and the Montenegrin looks to be gaining momentum. Goals against Catania and Juventus recently highlight exactly what Jovetić is all about and Montenegro’s loss to the Czech Republic in a Euro 2012 qualifier has deprived next summer’s jamboree of an exciting performer.
A new five year contract offer from Fiorentina was signed recently, but that won’t stop the usual suspects picking up the telephone if Jovetić can maintain his current trajectory.
"Missed the entire 2010/11 with a knee injury, remains to be seen how well he can recover. An extremely precocious player - nothing flashy, just an excellent user of the ball and a fabulous finisher." - Michael Cox (Zonal Marking)
C+ Ease back into the groove.