Tottenham Hotspur supporters regularly find themselves reminiscing over Luka Modric, a player gone by who will enjoy a perennial legendary status in north London, but there is reason to suggest that Mauricio Pochettino would sign the next Croatian playmaking genius with a deal for Roma’s Ante Coric.
Modric is one of those rare talents who possesses the ability to hold the game in the palm of their hand; to evoke excitement even from those spectators with no huge interest in football; to enchant and compel supporters to watch his every step with eagle-eyed intrigue.
Players with that level of talent, enough to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or, do not come around all too often, but 21-year-old Coric is one with the potential to go close in his endeavour to follow in Modric’s footsteps.
Like Modric, Coric is a player who established himself at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia before moving to one of Europe’s elite divisions, but his £5.4 million switch to Roma has born little fruit as of yet.
There are also a handful of other comparisons to be drawn between the Modric and Coric aside from their association with Dinamo Zagreb: they are diminutive players at 5’8″, prefer to operate in central midfield, born and bred in Croatia and creative technicians who rely on their perception and ball-playing quality.
The Croatian wonderkid was regarded as a coup for the Serie A giants when he signed last summer, particularly at such a modest price-tag, but injuries and intense competition for first-team places have limited him to just two appearances all season.
The creative midfielders struggle to make his mark in Italy will naturally give sceptics reason to believe that comparisons between him and Modric have been made prematurely, but it must be considered that Real Madrid’s lynchpin was still plying his trade with Dinamo Zagreb at Coric’s age.
With that said, it’s clear that Coric must be afforded ample time to develop in one of Europe’s top leagues before conclusions can be drawn regarding the full extent of his ability.
Whether Roma would be willing to offload Coric in any capacity remains to be seen, but with Christian Eriksen looking likely to join Real Madrid in the summer it’s about time Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy took a serious look at Coric.
One of the key factors influencing Coric’s appeal is the fact Roma only paid a pittance for him in 2018, and the prospect of making a decent profit on the highly-regarded prodigy may tempt them to cash in during the summer window if he fails to make an impression in the next six months.
Pochettino’s proven track-record of catalysing the development of talented youngsters and the natural appeal of the Premier League would both represent huge pull factors for Coric in the event that Spurs make an approach.
There is certainly a long way to go for Coric before his reputation comes anywhere close to that which Modric boasts in Croatia, but all the signs are there to suggest that he could follow in his footsteps within the right environment, so Spurs should use their success with Modric to justify a genius swoop for the next Croatian superstar.
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