Having sold Carlos Tevez to Juventus as well as allowing Mario Balotelli to join AC Milan in January, Manchester City were desperately on the hunt for at least two strikers this summer. So far, it looks like their hunt for strikers is over. Earlier this week, Alvaro Negredo joined Man City and now according to BBC Sport, it appears the club have agreed a fee with Fiorentina for Stevan Jovetic.
It has been argued that Jovetic will be a Carlos Tevez’ replacement. After all, both strikers are clinical at finishing, but are also effective creators too.
What sort of forward is Stevan Jovetic?
The two players are somewhat similar as we can see by the goals that they scored. Jovetic scored 13 goals with a conversion of 14.9%. Whilst Tevez scored 11 goals, at a similar conversion of 14.7%. Neither striker was particularly prolific in front of goal as a result of the fact that both players tended to play a bit deeper and create chances for their team-mates. This is probably an area both players could improve, with both players having chance conversion rates that are too low for top forwards, even ones who play from deep.
Both players do offer more than just goals however. Tevez for example created a huge 61 chances for his team-mates, 1.9 per game, with Jovetic similarly creating 55 chances, 1.8 per game. The main difference between the two is in technical play, with Tevez averaging 84% pass completion and Jovetic inferior at around 78%. This could improve if he signs for City though, playing in a very fluid, passing system under Manuel Pellegrini.
The statistics are not the only place that the two players are similar. Even in their style of play, with both players liking to drop off the front and link up with the midfielders in deeper areas, as reflected by the high number of chances they create. If we review Jovetic’s action areas from his last appearance for Fiorentina against Pescara below we can see the sort of role he plays:
As we can see from the above graphic Jovetic is not really an ‘out-and-out’ forward, but more of a support player who can drop off into deeper areas to impact the play and link the midfield and attack. At City, Jovetic could play in behind the striker in their 4-2-3-1 formation. In fact he could probably fit into any of the three attacking slots behind Aguero or Dzeko quite comfortably as well as on occasion being able to lead the line (again like Tevez could).
If we look at Tevez’s Action Areas from the sides’ 2-0 win away at Reading we can see that he does a similar role when playing off Edin Dzeko:
The main difference is that Tevez drops into the centre of the park slightly less than Jovetic, who himself puts in a busy shift in this area. That being said it is easy to see how Jovetic could adapt and play a similar role for City, if this was required of him. The major concern would be whether Jovetic is capable of leading the line if called upon, although he probably won’t have to with Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko both in the squad.
At 23 years old, Stevan Jovetic is certainly one for the future as well as the present. With Carlos Tevez’s off field problems, with regards to his discipline and at times commitment, moving him on made sense, despite the obvious quality he possessed. Jovetic though represents a very good alternative to Tevez, with his ability to play behind the striker as well as lead the line. His support play is highlighted by the high number of chances he created, as well as through his Action Area graphics where he consistently dropped off to help support the midfield.
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Topics: Stevan Jovetic