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Croatian U21 Talents

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

The Croatian First Football League is a great starting place for young Croatian talents, with the like of Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić who both played in the Croatian league before making big transfers. Today the Croatian First Football League houses new upcoming talents that are getting ready for new challenges in Europe.



This week FACTS looked at the most promising talents under 21 in the Croatian league. We selected 5 young and promising talents that are ready for a new challenge.   


Using advanced statistical and video analyses FACTS determined the current player level and play style of the 5 promising talents. 





Josko Gvardiol



Player Level: 2925

Club: Dinamo Zagreb

Position: Centre back/ Left-back

Foot: Left

Age: 19 years

International: Croatia U21 (5 caps)

Contract expiring: 30/06 2025



Characteristics:

Strong on the ball, good long pass, good composure, doesn't shy away from making attacking plays up the field.


Josko Gvardiol started his career at NK Tresnjevka and was picked up by Dinamo Zagreb a year later. If we look at his player level he is making big steps and is currently above the average team level, which indicates that Gvardiol is ready for the next step. Next transfer window Gvardiol is moving to RB Leipzig for a new challenge.

Gvardiol plays as a centre or left-back, this is also where his main strengths come into play. Gvardiol is a very strong player and he has learned how to use his body effectively, this results in him having a very good composure on the ball. Gvardiol also has a very good long pass to help bring up the play further up the field, in addition to this he also doesn't shy away from making attacking plays up the field.





Hrvoje Smolčić



Player Level: 2022

Club: HNK Rijeka

Position: Centre back/ Left-back

Foot: Left

Age: 20

International: Croatia U19 (former) (5 caps)

Contract expiring: 15/06/2023



Characteristics:

good long pass, high passing accuracy, strong in his duels, good defensive positioning.


Hrvoje Smolčić plays for HNK Rijeka at left centre back or left back. Looking at the current player level of Smolcic we can see that he is hovering around the average team level of HNK Rijeka. If he can improve himself a bit more he will be ready for the next step.

Hrvoje Smolčić is a very short and long passer, this enables him to play forward and find open players. Defensively he is very good at 1v1 plays and clearances. This is because he is good at positioning himself defensively.




David Colina



Player Level: 1945

Club: Hajduk Split

Position: Left-back

Foot: Left

Age: 20

International: Croatia U21 (5 caps)

Contract expiring: 30/06/2023




Characteristics:

good dribbler, good shot, attacking left-back, good in recoveries on the opponents half


David Colina currently plays for Hajduk Split as a left-back. If we look at the player level of David Colina we can see that it is hovering around 2000, if he can keep up his current form he will soon be above the average team level and ready for the next step.

David Colina is an attacking left-back some of his strengths contribute to this. Colina is a good dribbler with a good shot once given the opportunity. However, he can work on his crossing ability. Colina is also good at recovering the ball on the opponent's half which helps push up the play.






Mario Vuškovic



Player Level: 1623

Club: Hajduk Split

Position: Centre back/ Right centre back

Foot: Right

Age: 19

International: Croatia U21 (4 caps)

Contract expiring: 30/06/2024



Characteristics:

good short and long passer, strong and successful in duels and aerial duels


Mario Vuškovic currently plays for Hajduk split as a centre back or right centre back. If we look at the current player level of Vuškovic we can see that he is improving rapidly and if he can continue to hold his current form, he will soon rise above the average team level of Hajduk Split.

Vuškovic is a more defensive-minded player and is rarely seen high up the field. Vuškovic is a very good short and long passer with a low % of passes being unsuccessful, he is also good in his duels this goes for normal duels as well as aerial duels.






Filip Braut



Player Level: 1558

Club: HNK Rijeka

Position: Right back

Foot: Right

Age: 18

International: Croatia U19 (4 caps)

Contract expiring: 15/06/2024



Characteristics: attacking right back, good off the ball movement, good in short-range passing


Filip Braut currently plays for HNK Rijeka as a right-back and optional left-back. At the moment Braut is not playing that much, which is why his player level is dropping. If he manages to find back his form and get in the starting eleven again, Braut can quickly rise above the current team level of HNK Rijeka.

Filip Braut is an attacking right-back, with good off the ball movement and short passes. This enables him to be dangerous when attacking. Braut can find the space behind the opponent's defenders, which often creates chances for the team.






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