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The next Croatian magician 🎩

Croatia in recent years has produced some exceptional modern midfielders. They are more than usually blessed with an excellent work ethic which compliments their technique and versatile skill set. The likes of Luka Modric ,Matteo Kovacic, Ivan Rakitic and Marcelo Brozovic come to mind instantly when talking about Croatian midfielders, their quality over the years has been considered elite.  

Lovro Majer seems to be the next in line to be a midfield maestro from Croatia. Much like his idol Luka Modric, the 24 year old graduated from Dinamo Zagreb’s famed academy. Majer got his first big move in the summer window of the 2021/22 season and made a switch to Stade Rennes in Ligue 1. 

Since then he has slowly but surely shown his quality despite a difficult start, he in fact has become one of the best midfielders in the league, something Luka himself would be proud of!

The influence of Modric on Majer is clear to see and their on-field resemblance is sometimes uncanny. They also have the same initials coincidentally , LM.

 

THE PROMISE OF MAJER

 

This season Lovro Majer’s stats reflect his capability to fulfill the 8/10 hybrid role or the mezzala role for the best managers and the best teams. In 13 appearances till date in Ligue 1 he has a solitary goal and 5 assists.

When he was bought in he was seen as a replacement for the Madrid bound Camavinga but he posses a more attacking threat than the French starlet, who is seen as a modern number 6. 

 

A deeper look into Majer’s numbers shows us that he is a creative hub for the team. He makes 4.2 shots creating actions, which gives him an expected assist ratio of 0.33 per 90 almost on par with KDB’s 0.35. 

He also takes 2 shots per 90 which is impressive for a central midfielder , De Bruyne on the other hand takes double the shots but he is the best at it in Europe from the center of the park.

 

Lovro Majer’s numbers in terms of progression are impressive too. He completes 7.2 progressive carries and successfully receives 4 progressive passes, which makes him an elite baller carrier through midfield.

His progressive passing could improve which is average at worst with 4 only progressive passes. He also completes about 2 dribbles per 90 which ranks him in the top 5% of midfielders around Europe. 

 

What makes him truly standout are his pressure numbers. Majer is a pressing machine with almost 24 pressures per 90, evidence of his crazy work ethic. Much like all tenacious Croatian midfielders before him Majer does not mind doing the dirty work too.

He makes about 3.5 tackles and interceptions per 90, which is average but not a bad figure at all for such a creative player.

 

Majer is the perfect embodiment of the modern 8/10 hybrid. His immense work ethic, flawless technique and versatility make him an exciting prospect for major European clubs.

Especially teams in search of creativity and an elegant ball carrier through the center of the park should pounce on the first opportunity they get to bring him in, like Tottenham, where Majer would seamlessly fit in Conte’s system at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

 

MODRIC’S TRUE HEIR!

 

Not to discount the sheer quality of Rakitic, Kovacic and Brozovic, but Modric has been Croatia’s best player over the last 10 years and probably ever. Lovro Majer’s displays this season have surely made him heir apparent to the 2018 Ballon D’or winner’s throne. 

The stylistic similarities between Majer and Modric are uncanny. An attacking midfielder who can slot in as a 8. A midfielder who is comfortable on the ball, and can dribble through tight spaces with ease despite pressure .

He moves his team forward through the center of the park. Much like Modric,Lovro Majer is vicious when needed and his grit will surely push him to emulate his idol.

 

In fact his dead ball delivery is more similar to De Bruyne’s, a supremely flattering comparison but not a false one. Something Luka himself has been average at.

If he moves to Tottenham he will be following in his idol’s footsteps, according to us Conte should already be pressurizing Daniel Levy to get his cheque book out for the next Croatian Magician, Lovro Majer.

 

Vidur Arora
A Swansea City fan, who fell in love with the game watching Joe Allen play. Usually found in the wild with headphones in his ears and bobbing his head. Love his art too.

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