Lazio’s Sergei Milinkovic-Savic is one of Europe’s biggest midfielder and plays a superb season in Serie A. Quite a few trust him soon the step to superstar. So it’s no wonder he tops the list at clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. The talent was the Serb to see it early.
Even as a teenager Sergei Milinkovic-Savic did not need long to attract attention on the football field. “I saw him at the Youth Academy in Vojvodina and after ten minutes I knew he had what it takes to become a big guy,” recalls his current advisor Mateja Kezman.
What fascinated the former top striker at that time in the Serbian Novi Sad, reveals his protégé today the broad football public. At Lazio, the 23-year-old has become a leading player and is now one of the most sought-after talents in Europe.
With 1.91 meters in length and an impressive physique, the Serb emanates an enormous presence and almost surpasses many of his midfield opponents. Not for nothing was he given the nickname “Sergeant” in Italy – the sergeant.
Physical presence paired with strong technology
His physical strength Milinkovic Savic uses mainly in a duel. The midfielder spares no duel. Ball conquest belongs to the specialty of the Serb. The midfielder switches to dribbling quickly, opening up new opportunities on the offensive.
What sets him apart from many other major players is his strong technique and the balance with which he keeps getting his opponents out. In addition, “SMS”, as he is also known simply in Italy, goal-scoring: In the Serie A, he has nine already this season.
If you look for weaknesses with him, then you notice his tendency to foul play and an expandable pass rate. “I’m still very young and make too many mistakes,” the national team admits self-critically. “But I work hard and will certainly improve in the coming years.”
Experience of the father a “big plus”
He has good genes in any case, because Sergei Milinkovic-Savic comes from a real sports family. Brother Vanja is substitute goalkeeper at Torino, mother Milana played professional basketball and father Nikola was also a professional footballer. “My father has a lot of experience and can give me lots of advice, which is a big plus for me,” says the midfielder, who became U20 World Champion with Serbia in 2015.
It will not be long before father and son can argue about a potential change. Because virtually the entire football elite of Europe is after him. So far without success. “We rejected a 70 million euro offer for him in the summer,” reveals Lazio President Claudio Lotito. “Under 100 million we will give him under any circumstances.”
If it comes to Lazio, they would even like to keep him and play with him next year in the Champions League. The signs are very good. At the moment, the Romans are in third place in the Serie A and are also still in the Europa League in the race.
How long can Lazio keep “SMS”?
Milinkovic-Savic still has a contract until 2022, so its president’s tremendous replacement plans are no coincidence. Nevertheless, one must assume that Lazio can not resist forever when the big clubs open their pockets.
The courtesy, meanwhile, confessed to Lazio several times. At the same time, however, he admitted to being “flattered” by the great interest in his person. Especially attractive is Manchester United. After all, he recently described José Mourinho as “the best coach in the world” and compatriot Nemanja Matic could influence a decision.
It will be interesting to see how long the “sergeant” will conduct for Lazio.