After a debut season riddled by injury, Stevan Jovetic appears to have found his feet at Manchester City, and with the Montenegrin striker in fine form, the football community can only expect more from the player.
It’s not always been smooth sailing at City for Jovetic. The striker suffered a series of injury setbacks following his £22 million transfer from Fiorentina.
Now with an off-season under his belt, the 24- year-old is fit and ready to deliver on the promise he displayed in his time in Tuscany.
The Montenegrin first caught the attention of the football community after scoring a brace against Liverpool in Fiorentina’s 2009/10 Champions League campaign, and his stocks only rose from there.
Soon enough, the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan came knocking on the door of La Viola, eyeing off the signing of the rising star.
Fiorentina, though, were reluctant to part with their prized asset, holding out for as big a transfer fee as possible.
In the end, none of those sides were able to acquire Jovetic, and he was to spend another four seasons at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Eventually, in July 2013, Jovetic was finally sold after Fiorentina reached an agreement with Manchester City to sell him for around £22 million, with the Citizens fending off interest from the big Italian clubs who re-entered the race for his signature.
Naturally, expectation was placed on the youngster’s shoulders upon signing for the mega-rich club. However, a run of injuries limited his contribution for City, and by the end of the season and toward the start of the next, whispers grew louder that his short-term future lied away from the Etihad, with Juventus once again linked along with Arsenal.
But coach Manuel Pellegrini was never in doubt of the player’s talent and value.
Jovetic’s injury run is over, and he has been a regular in Pellegrini’s starting XI throughout pre-season and in City’s first two Premier League clashes.
And so far, Jovetic has repaid Pellegrini’s faith.
He found the net twice in City’s 3-1 win over Liverpool and linked up well with strike partner Edin Dzeko.
His performance won the praise of his coach after the match, telling the media that he was working for the entire 90 minutes, and that he and the club never had any doubt in Jovetic’s ability.
If Jovetic can continue on the road he is on, the league can expect a real shake-up.
At Fiorentina, Jovetic, in 109 performances with the club, found the back of the net on 39 occasions, including six braces between 2009 and 2012, between the ages of 20 and 23, across the Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia.
A stunning return for a player so young.
If Jovetic can stay injury-free, then there is no doubt that he can re-produce the goals he scored in Italy with the pedigree of talent that surrounds him.
David Silva, Sergio Arguero and Yaya Toure are just some of the names that any striker would love to have behind them and fortunately for Jovetic, he is able to have this luxury.
As City look to defend their crown, expect Jovetic to play an integral part and for a previously unlucky youngster to finally become a bona fide football superstar.