20 | Montenegro | ACF Fiorentina | Forward
The newest star of European football may have been born when Liverpool travelled to the Stadio Artemio Franchi back in September for their second Champions League tie of the season.
Enter stage left, Stevan Jovetić. The young Montenegrin forward picked the perfect stage to announce himself, with all eyes firmly on Liverpool as they searched for another Champions League win. Stevan shocked everyone with a man of the match performance and two very impressive first half goals, triggering a four match run without a win for his victims.
The 20-year-old wreaked havoc, his first touch, disguised passes and movement proving thorns in the side of an already vulnerable Liverpool defence. Jovetic served several warnings of intent before he finally struck low past the Liverpool ‘keeper. Moments later, he had double the lead with a clever flick to deflect Vargas’ shot goalwards and past helpless Reina.
Jovetić played in the youth teams of FK Mladost Podgorica and the famous FK Partizan Belgrade before making the step up in to the first team at Partizan in 2006, aged just 17. Despite his youth and relative inexperience, Jovetić quickly became captain of Partizan, going on to score 23 goals in 61 matches for the Serbians. After two seasons in Serbia, he moved to Fiorentina for €6 million.
Jovetić was a founding member of the new Montenegro national team and has made 13 appearance, scoring six goals including a superb strike against Bulgaria. Jovetić represents another hidden gem found by Fiorentina’s sporting director Pantaleo Corvino, who previously unearthed the likes of Javier Chevantón (Sevilla), Valeri Bojinov (Manchester City & Parma) and fellow Montenegro forward Mirko Vucinic (Roma).
Jovetic is a supporting forward and was originally used by La Viola as back-up for ex-Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu. However Mutu’s problems with his breach of contract appeal with Chelsea means Jovetić has played more often in recent months. An accomplished finisher, but also capable of creating goals for his team mates. He is a brilliant dribbler, and can hold the ball up in order to bring those around him into play. The two-footed attacker is a hugely gifted and skilful playmaker. He can play out wide and up front as well as central midfield. Jovetic has a wonderful eye for a pass – which is one of many weapons in his armoury.
The Fiorentina starlet has already been linked to big clubs like Manchester Utd, and is known to have interested Real Madrid before making the switch to Florence. Stevan might be available to them but he won’t come cheap, Fiorentina will be expecting no less than €18million for him if he wants to move, despite having a contract at the club until 2013.