Twelve appearances for his hometown club Hajduk Split has seen Ante Palaversa go from another youth player to a wanted man.
A professional contract signed in Summer 2018 may now last only six months, with the midfielder currently undergoing a medical at Manchester City ahead of a move from Hajduk Split. He is expected to return to Hajduk on loan for the rest of the season.
Playing at Hajduk his whole career, Palaversa is the captain of Croatia U19s, despite only being 18 and has shown maturity way beyond his age. It will cost City £7m, but for a reasonably small fee, City are getting a hell of a player…
Style of Play
Adept with both feet, the Croatian has incredible vision and the range of passing to pull off some things other players simply don’t see, similar to Kevin De Bruyne. The main difference with De Bruyne is his tendency to sit deep when his team have the majority of the ball, spraying passes out to either flank. Hajduk Split have utilised him as a number eight so far this season where he has performed outstandingly, however, City may look to convert him into a six, as a future replacement for Fernandinho.
Occasionally careless on the ball, Palaversa’s engine makes him a very useful player on the counter-attack and with the composure to finish chances on the edge of the box, he has the potential to be a very good asset for Manchester City.
That’s what he’ll be, which is sad. Just an asset. At 18, we are seeing similar and even less-talented players have a key role in first-teams across Europe’s top leagues, but a move to City could possibly stifle his progress.
City have massive strength in depth and this means Palaversa would be lucky to even make an appearance in cup competitions. He’s an extremely talented player but City may not be the right move, with the Croat expected to join their U23 squad.
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