Football News

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic “happy” at Lazio amid Man Utd links, says midfielder’s father

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:09, 28 December 2021


Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is happy at Lazio despite constant reports surrounding his future, the player’s father has revealed.

The Serbian was once Europe’s most sought-after midfielder, subject to interest from some of the continent’s biggest clubs including Premier League side Manchester United. He then started to fly under the radar slightly due to some struggles on the pitch at Lazio, but the 26-year-old appears to be back to his best and ready to hit the peak years of his career.

Despite Lazio’s struggles as a whole this season, Milinkovic-Savic has found himself integral to Maurizio Sarri’s side, starting 17 of his 18 appearances in Serie A, missing just one game through suspension so far. When Sarri claimed Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto could not play together in his midfield, it was the latter who lost out, though they have since reunited through good form.

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In Serie A alone Milinkovic-Savic has been excellent, directly involved in 11 goals in his 18 appearances, with only Ciro Immobile (15) being directly involved in more for Lazio. It is only Immobile who has scored more Serie A goals than Milinkovic-Savic’s five so far this season at Lazio, and only Luis Alberto can match the Serbian midfielder for his assists. Only Felipe Anderson can match Milinkovic-Savic for 26 chances created too, proving the Serbian to be Lazio’s key creative player in that left-sided central midfield role that Sarri loves so much.

In his final four games before Serie A took a winter break, Milinkovic-Savic scored two goals and two assists, including one of each in Lazio’s 3-1 win over Sampdoria – a game in which he was also sent off. Despite the red card, for two yellow cards in a minute, the first for a foul and the second dissent, the performance against Sampdoria was Milinkovic-Savic back to his best.

To no one’s surprise, Milinkovic-Savic is now being linked with a move away from Lazio and Manchester United are among the teams reportedly interested, lacking a midfielder who can create from a deeper position without hampering the club’s defensive structure.

But the midfielder’s father, Nikola Milinkovic, has insisted he is happy at Lazio and looks set to stay, adapting to the system that Sarri is trying to implement.

“He has grown a lot in these seven years at Lazio,” he told Portuguese publication A Bola.

“There is always talk of his departure, but the president has decided to keep him and he is happy at Lazio.

“Lazio is not as strong as they have been in recent years. Before the pandemic broke out, Lazio could have been champions that year, they should have taken advantage of it.

“Now they are paying for the adaptation to a new game system due to the change of manager, but as a former football player and person I never want to judge the quality of the coaches.”