He was one of Real Madrid’s marquee signings. Only Eden Hazard cost them more than Luka Jovic in the summer, with the Serbian striker making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu from Eintracht Frankfurt for around £60 million. On the basis of Jovic’s performances for the German side last season, it looked to be a shrewd addition.
After all, Real Madrid needed a striker. Karim Benzema had stepped into the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo the year before, but with the Frenchman now well into his 30s he needed someone to rotate. It was even pondered whether Jovic could play as a strike partner to Benzema. 4-4-2 has come back into vogue across Europe.
Instead, Jovic has largely had to watch from the sidelines. He has struggled for game time since joining Real Madrid, starting just three La Liga games and scoring one for his new team this season. Some have even speculated that the Serbian could be sold or loaned out with his national team manager also casting doubt on the player’s character and mindset.
“I take care of each player to get the best of the national team,” Ljubisa Tumbakovic said in a recent interview. “I’ve never given up on anyone. One player who has moved away from the team is Luka Jovic and, in truth, he’s the only one. There are no problems between us. Luka Jovic’s problem is Luka Jovic.”
2020 presents Jovic with a fresh start, though. The fixtures will now come thick and fast for Real Madrid as they move into the second half of the season and squad depth will be crucial for Zinedine Zidane as he fights for honours on all fronts. Jovic will have a role to play even if he has to play second fiddle to Benzema, who is enjoying the season of his life.
There is quite clearly a talented player in Jovic. He took the Bundesliga and the Europa League by storm last season, earning a reputation for himself as one of Europe’s best young strikers. There’s a reason Real Madrid paid around £60 million for him. It can take some players a while to get used to the environment at the Santiago Bernabeu (just ask Luka Modric). Real Madrid mustn’t write him off just yet when he still has so much to offer them.
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