Milos Veljkovic is a Serbian footballer who is a part of Tottenham Hotspur. Born in Switzerland but to Serbian parents on 26th September 1995, Veljkovic started his footballing dream at Swiss giants, FC Basel. After spending the majority of his youth career at the Swiss club, the Serbian moved to the PL club in 2011 and has shown much promise in the youth tournaments and even made 2 first team appearances and numerous games on the bench.
Tim Sherwood handed the youngster his debut against Sunderland in the 5-1 win on 8 April 2014, coming on as a late substitute for Brazil international, Paulinho. He was given a longer run of play against Aston Villa the following week as he replaced Sandro in the 62nd minute. Though he has not nailed a first team spot or made an appearance under Pochetino, the Serbian enjoyed a good U20 World Cup earlier this summer and has been recalled on multiple occasions back to Tottenham from his loan spells, like with Middlesborough and Charlton, though it was an injury situation at Charlton that ruled him out for the latter half of last season.
Style of Play, Strengths and Weaknesses:
The Serbian is both a central defender and a defensive midfielder. Spurs have a current example in the first team excelling in such a role. You guessed it right, Eric Dier. The English international has earned a call up to the National side and it is all thanks to the new role he has slotted into at the heart of the Central Midfield. It is not doing justice to Dier to say that he is keeping Milos from the first team, simply because the Serbian isn’t of the level yet, but if he keeps developing with the youth team, he is bound to be noticed and could be a fail-safe option in an injury crisis.
Milos is tall and is always an aerial threat, he is often the first one to attack long balls, both while on the attack during set pieces and while commanding the backline like he did with Serbia in the world cup and the Euro u19 championship that the country ran out as winners.
His physicality is also commendable, making it hard to shake him off the ball, but sometimes he can be too lazy or sluggish on the ball that he takes too much time to make a decision, that could result in a poor misplaced pass or giving the ball away cheaply in crucial areas of the pitch.
For a 20-year-old, Milos was one of the most calmest players on the pitch for Serbia in both the U19 Euros and the U20 World Cup. For such a young age, he has a remarkable maturity and is only bound to improve on his calmness and composure when not put under pressure, this could help him in improving his decision making, at least one would hope it does.
Due to his height, you can say he is not one of the quickest around, but he does compensates for it with his exceptional reading of the game and is not afraid to put in a tackle or challenge, however overboard it may seem.
What does the Future hold?
Part of the golden generation coming through for Serbian football, Milos Veljkovic was one of the best players of the tournament in the U20 WC and started all 8 games as the main CB and was also part of the goals scoring 1 in the whole tournament. Also a winner of the U19 Euros in 2013, he has experience in playing competitive football, though not in the Premier League or FA Cup, he could be a more than average squad player for Spurs in the future, if not someone who is the towering CB who leads the line. For the latter to come true, Spurs will have to shift systems to zonal marking from a high line. In my opinion, he would be a better player in CM than in defense for Tottenham and Milos should look to develop himself in those aspects of football. It will be good for his career if he leaves for clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool or any other EPL club.