A player linked with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur has been named as one of Europe’s top 15 young players by none other than Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.
Luka Jovic was one of Real Madrid marquee signings last summer and joined amid much fanfare.
The Serbia international arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt for around £53million (The Independent) following a superb season in which he scored 27 goals in 47 appearances.
However, he has struggled at the Bernabeu, scoring just two goals in all competitions, and was dropped from the squad for their last three games before the unprecedented football suspension.
According to a January report in The Mirror, Jose Mourinho had identified Jovic as a possible target, although Tottenham opted not to sign a striker in the end – with disastrous consequences.
A report from the Daily Star earlier this week reiterated Spurs’ reported interest in the 22-year-old and added that Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta also wants the player’s signature.
Messi was asked to name 15 “youth on the rise” players for Topps Champions League cards and Jovic made the cut.
“A magical player who makes the impossible, possible,” the Argentina ace wrote about Jovic, as quoted by Give Me Sport.
Though Jovic’s arrival was seen as a coup for Real Madrid last summer, he has struggled massively, and given Los Blancos generally have a low tolerance for players who don’t immediately step up to the plate, it doesn’t exactly bode well for the 22-year-old’s Bernabeu future.
That’s not to say he’s a bad player by any means – Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic previously said of Jovic, as quoted by the Bundesliga website: “He’s a classic goal-getter with great control of the ball and a good understanding of the game. I’d probably compare him to Luis Suarez.”
With none other than Lionel Messi now praising Jovic, clearly he must have something about him – and Real’s loss could be Tottenham or Arsenal’s gain.