Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Midfielder of the Mourinho & Man United Mould4 min read
It’s at this time of the year that the course is set for the transfer sagas of the summer ahead. One such saga will concern the future of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is attracting interest from the Premier League. Recent reports claim that Manchester United could be as much as £95 million to secure the services of the 23-year-old.
The Serbian has become a star of Serie A over the past season, with many deeming him to be ready to make the next step in his career. Man Utd are seemingly willing to give him that platform as they prepare for an overhaul of their squad this summer and Milinkovic-Savic is a key target. So would he be worth the money?
While it can be difficult to predict the success and failure of a player upon making a big money move (see Paul Pogba), Milinkovic-Savic appears to possess all the traits needed to succeed in the Premier League, standing at an imposing 6ft 3ins. There is a refined technique to his play that makes him comfortable with the ball at his feet, but he is also adept at the physical side of the game, which surely appeals to Mourinho.
The Serbian is an intelligent player, working out problems on the pitch as they happen. This is another thing that draws Mourinho to the Lazio man. This has been a frustration of his with Pogba. Mourinho wants his players to self-manage, to a certain extent. Look at the way he criticised Luke Shaw earlier in the season for not thinking for himself on the pitch, only playing well because of what he put in his head – “his body with my brain.”
Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with essentially every elite club in the European game over the past six months, but Man Utd seem to have stolen a march on their rivals in the pursuit of the Serbian. Stylistically, he would be a good fit for the Old Trafford side.
United are joint favourites to sign the midfielder, along with Champions League finalists Real Madrid.
Mentally, there are still some questions for the 23-year-old to answer. He is still at an early stage of his career and has yet to prove himself at the top level of the sport, in the Champions League. But there is more than enough to suggest that Milinkovic-Savic is the player Manchester United, and many other clubs both in the Premier League and elsewhere, need this summer.