Nikola Milenković – Scout report
The Fiorentina international is a young 20-year old who has really come into his own the past season and now demonstrating his ability at the highest level consistently. He is calm and composed on the ball, reads the game well and always an aerial threat defensively and offensively.
Building out the play from the back does not really suit Fiorentina’s style of play but with Milenković in the defensive line, others around him are starting to play a similar style to his. You can see it in the players’ performances and the Italian club now find themselves sitting pretty in third position of the Seria A table.
The Serbian defender looks a technically gifted footballer that could grow into a potentially world-class centre-half under the right guidance. Comparisons are being drawn to Nemanja Vidic in that both are fearless, aerially capable and willing to put their body on the line.
This season, the defender has played at both centre-back and slotting in at right-back when required, and has showcased his aerial prowess, recording an average of 2.4 aerial battles won per game. It goes to show what a commanding presence he is at the back and does not allow space in behind, for attackers to run into when balls are punted forward.
Many who are comparing the young defender to Nemanja Vidic may have a point and certainly cause for the excitement surrounding the 20-year-old. Most of the bookies have put up such odds which backs Milenković to be as good as the United star, while a person betting on any youngster wouldn’t get a lot of money back. However, if you are into the stuff of dreams you would certainly do it.
During the world cup, he started all three games and recorded a pass success percentage of 89.8%. Playing at the highest level, the young lad went out and played with the utmost confidence.
From a dominant 6’5’’ presence, you would expect the player to be slightly outpaced by a quick centre-forward but the way this boy reads the game, he positions himself perfectly so that he is not get caught on his heel and become engaged in a foot race. On the contrary, he is steady, intelligent and constantly barking out orders.
Milenkovic has demonstrated the characteristics of a world-class centre-half. From this point moving forward, reliability and consistency are key. If he can keep his head down and perform to the best of his ability week in and week out, big European clubs will come calling.
Dubbed the next ‘Nemanja Vidić is wishful thinking for supporters, but this bright 20-year old has the world at his feet and should hope to create his own legacy. The Serbian prospect has a long way to go cement his place among one of the elite, but he is certainly on the upward spiral and we can only hope to see more of him.