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Who Is This Serbian Midfielder Manchester United Are Trying To Sign? Everything You Need To Know

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Scout Report – Mijat Gacinovic

Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Mijat Gacinovic, according to reports from the Mirror 

The report claims that the 22-year old midfielder was scouted personally by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho recently, when he was representing the Serbian national team against Austria in the World Cup qualifiers during the international break. The report also states that there were scouts present from fellow Premier League club Arsenal as well, keeping an eye on Gacinovic during the past week. 

The versatile midfielder has been rated as one of the most promising young players in the Bundesliga and there have been reports of interest from German champions Bayern Munich as well. With so many top clubs keeping an eye on the 22-year old, here we bring you the lowdown on Mijat Gacinovic.

Footballing Background 

Born on 8 February 1995, in Novi Sad, FR Yugoslavia, Gacinovic had a short stint at Trebinje, where his father used to play, before moving on to join Leotar. A short time afterwards, he joined the academy of Serbian club FC Vojvodina in 2010.

After three years with the youth sides, the player made his first debut team for the club in March 2013, coming on as a substitute against Donji Srem. He appeared six times for the club that season, scoring one goal. He became a key member of the team the following season and finished with a goal and 4 assists from 27 games in the 2013-14 campaign, helping Vojvodina to a Serbian Cup triumph.  

Gacinovic continued to enhance his reputation with a stellar 2014/15 season, with 11 goals and one assist in 27 games. He was also named as the club captain at such a young age, in the early parts of 2015. His rise did not go unnoticed as Eintracht Frankfurt came calling in the summer of 2015. He featured only 9 times for the club in his debut season, but played an important role in helping them avoid relegation, as he scored and assisted a goal each in the relegation playoffs.

The 22-year old scored 2 goals and an assist from 34 games in the 2016/17 season and has managed one goal and assist so far in 7 games in the ongoing campaign. 

Gacinovic represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the U-17 level, before switching allegiance to the Serbian national team, whom he has played for at all levels starting at U-18 till the U-21. He was a part of the Serbia U-19 side that won the European Championships back in 2013 and the U-20 side that triumphed in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015.

He made his senior debut for Serbia in March earlier this year, scoring off the bench against Georgia in the World Cup qualifiers, and scored in his second game as well – a 3-0 win over Moldova last month. He was in action in last week’s qualifiers against Austria as well.

Style of Play 

An extremely versatile customer, Gacinovic has made his name playing on both the left and the right-hand sides of the midfield and has comfortably slotted into the central midfield position as well in recent years at Eintracht Frankfurt.  

A player who has the ability to take on opponents and beat them by using his great dribbling abilities and speed when playing on the flanks, the 22-year old has also demonstrated the ability to sit in the central midfield and act as the creative fulcrum of his team. A good reader of the game, the Serb can effectively break up play by making crucial interceptions in the middle of the park and also possesses very high work-rate when not in possession. 

A pass accuracy of 74.5% in 6 games this term isn’t nearly the level needed for a midfielder to be able to control proceedings in the middle of the pitch and that is something that he will need to improve in the future.  

What Does the Future Hold? 

It is no secret that Mourinho wanted to bring in a hard-working winger in the transfer window in the form of Ivan Perisic, but failed in his pursuit of the Croatian star. The Portuguese manager could be eyeing Gacinovic as an alternative for the Inter Milan man, while also viewing him as someone who could fill in the midfield, given the recent bout of injuries that has hit the team in the form of Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini.  

The 22-year old isn’t anywhere near to being a finished product, but has plenty of qualities that Mourinho appreciates in a player. He has the ability to become a strong squad player and develop his game under the former Chelsea boss. But having recently signed a new deal with Frankfurt until 2021, he is unlikely to come on the cheap.