Ante Rebic: Croatian starlet set for a productive future

Croatia v New Zealand: Group F - FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013

Ante Rebic

The 19-year old RNK Split striker has already caught the eyes of national team boss Igor Stimac and the Croatian football fraternity as a whole by scoring a stunning goal in the midweek friendly win over Liechtenstein.

Ante Rebic’s fine season for Split and Croatia at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey left many top European scouts bewildered by the talent of such a young man. Tottenham, Swansea and Newcastle United are believed to be keen on signing the 6ft 1inch footballer whose pace, physique and versatility in front of the goal have been touted as major assets in his game.

The manner with which he scored Croatia’s second goal in a 3-2 win against Liechtenstein five minutes after coming on as a substitute, replacing the experienced Ivica Olic speaks volumes of Rebic’s mental conditioning.

Most debutants seem to get carried away by the occasion of representing their national teams for the very first time but the young man from football-mad Split rewarded his manager’s call by finishing off a smooth Croatian move with utmost precision and technical prowess.

He had also scored on debut for his club coming on as a substitute against Dinamo Zagreb in 2011. Even the seasoned Eduardo, scorer of two goals on the night in Vaduz, admired Rebic and his talent that is sure to give the boy immense confidence in the days ahead.

During the recent Under-20 World Cup, Ante Rebic bagged two goals and an assist for Croatia that ensured his senior team call-up for the friendly on Wednesday but his performance for RNK Split last season, where he scored eleven goals in 30 appearances made the Premier League’s elite boys sit up and follow his progress.

With Rebic himself keen on a move to England, there is no reason to believe that the player won’t ply his trade in the Premier League for the upcoming season with a fortnight to go until the summer transfer window closes.

Valued at around 1 million Euros in July with the price set to rise after his debut performance for Croatia, Fiorentina are said to be having a look at the starlet after losing Stevan Jovetic to Manchester City in the summer and this shows how the boy is rated across Europe.

Coming back to the player’s style of play, it is interesting to note that young Ante Rebic has a tremendous head despite his tender age. His finishing abilities and powerful running at Croatia’s top level football division have made Croatia wonder whether he is the next big thing after Davor Suker.

For a 19-yeard old footballer Rebic has outstanding movements, instinctive dribbling and immense physical attributes that will improve further after his call up to the senior Croatian national team. His calmness on one to one situations is commendable to say the least and Rebic is tremendously comfortable on his both feet, a hallmark of a star in the making.

Now that his career will be taken care of further by the Croatian Football Federation and the club where he decides to ply his trade, be it Split or Dinamo Zagreb or an English Premier League club, there is every chance that the young man is set to be the next talking point of not only Croatian football but Balkan football as a whole.

Follow the prodigious talent here:

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