FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 11: Stevan Jovetic of ACF Fiorentina fights for the ball with Rene Khrin and Daniele Portanova of Bologna FC during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Bologna FC at Stadio Artemio Franchi on September 11, 2011 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
There were some rumors this morning (albeit from a source with poor credibility) that Chelsea had bid a sum of £14 million for the services of Fiorentina attacker Stevan Jovetic and seen the bid declined. Whether or not these rumors are true, I'll give them some credit for being fairly well thought out for a change. Jovetic is only 22 years of age, so he fits well with the youth movement at Chelsea. He's currently at Fiorentina and therefore not cup tied in any way. We know AVB is looking to add a versatile attacker, and Jovetic certainly fits that bill. Fiorentina is also a club that safely in the middle of the Italian table, so picturing them as a January seller is not too difficult. The club are hurting financially, making player sales quite likely in the near future. When you add all of those factors up you get a pretty believable rumor despite a truly awful source. With that in mind I think we'll spend a few minutes today looking at the young attacker.
Jovetic is a Montenegrin international who's been plying his trade in Italy since 2008. Prior to that he was the youngest player ever to captain Partizan. He was born 11/2/89 making him just recently 22 years of age. He's generally played as either a left winger or in a slightly more recessed role on the left. He's also got some experience recently playing just behind the center forward, and he looks very comfortable there. He's even on rare occasion been called upon to fill in as a lone striker with some success. His skillset would actually compliment Juan Mata quite well, as both players would benefit from the interchangeability that the other offers.
Jovetic stands 6' tall and is filling out fairly well. From a build standpoint there is little to suggest he'd be a liability. He's relatively fast, but he's not overly useful in the air for a decently sized player. In the positions he generally finds himself playing that likely won't be much of a concern though. Stevan has displayed excellent balance in his time in Italy, and he generally does a nice job holding off defenders.
Technically speaking Jovetic is a very nice player. He's quite good with the ball at his feet, although he does tend to dribble a bit much for my liking some of the time. He's excellent at playing through balls from the center, but his crossing is fairly average when he drifts out wide. Sometimes his balls over the top are a bit lacking as well, so that's a trend that bears consideration when planning tactically with Jovetic. He does do an excellent job of seeing the pitch though, so with some work on his high passing he could be a real gem. All told he seems like the exact type of passer that would further compliment Fernando Torres*.
Jovetic also offers some threat with his longer shooting. He's been a decent option when putting free kicks on goal, and his finishing around the goal is also first class. His style leads to a good number of fouls being drawn in dangerous areas, something that should compliment Chelsea well on days that we play both Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill. Defensively Jovetic is also somewhat useful as he tracks back willingly. What he doesn't bring to that table is aggressive tackling, something which might benefit him in England.
I've got a couple of Jovetic videos for you, the first is from a game last season against Roma:
Next up we have some highlights from a game against Serie A opponent Genoa:
I like both of the above videos as they highlight much of his routine touches during the course of a game. It definitely gives you a better look at the player than your standard highlight video. Jovetic would be a fine addition to Chelsea if anything close to the rumored price is accurate, but like I mentioned above it originated form an extremely dubious source. I'd be very happy if there was even a shred of truth to this one as Jovetic is exactly the type of player that could believably be available in January. It will certainly be interesting to watch this one over the next several days to see what (if any) response their is from the club and from Fiorentina. Like Graham, you may consider my interest piqued by this rumor.
*I feel obligated to mention Torres at least once per post in any profile of an attacker