Happy Birthday to Luka Jovic

Luka Jovic, Milan’s striker, celebrates his 26th birthday today. Yesterday, Jovic prevented his team from suffering a defeat against Salernitana. Yet, he often finds himself coming off the bench to take part in vital matches, such as those for the Champions League. A common situation unless there are injuries to key players, as per Milan’s coach Stefano Pioli’s hierarchy.

According to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Jovic often assists his team in unexpected ways, such as helping set up teammates for goals and maintaining possession of the ball. However, his form seems to fluctuate, which has resulted in criticisms and disappointment.

In fact, Guerin Sportivo included him in their list aimed at highlighting players who have performed poorly during the season. Conversely, there is a hint of surprise at such assessments, as he shows the ability to be unpredictable and still has the potential to excel, based on an occasional glimpse of promise.

Five years ago, Jovic justified Eintracht Frankfurt’s trust with 27 goals scored in 28 games, persuading Real Madrid to invest 60 million euros in his transfer. However, his regularity in scoring goals has been noticeably absent since then. Interestingly, the only season where he managed to hit the double figures was last season, while playing for Fiorentina and playing a significant role in the Conference League, a tournament where the opportunity to excel is seemingly easier.

At his presentation day with Milan, Jovic revealed, “I’m happy. I’ve had contacts with Milan for years, and about three years ago, when I was playing for Real Madrid, I had direct contact with [Paolo] Maldini. I had expressed the desire to come to Milan but things went differently.” He confessed he had overlooked other opportunities, waiting for his chance with Milan.

However, his move to Milan appears to be a promotion given the European competitions that Milan has participated or will be participating in later. Fans and critics are suggesting: it is time to prove his true potential. This is particularly pertinent with competition from players like Giroud, who does not intend to step aside. Furthermore, there is nothing worse than facing a veteran player who is not ready for retirement, especially to make space for a newcomer who still has to prove his worth.

Regardless, Jovic’s journey with Milan is still ongoing and judging his performance prematurely may not do justice to his potential. He has certainly faced critiques after underwhelming performances in the first half of the season and often seemed out of his depths but has also had key moments. He shone brightly in Milan’s match against Frosinone, where he scored a goal and assisted with another for Tomori.

While some may suggest that Jovic tends to perform better against weaker teams and remains anonymous against stronger teams, his contributions to Milan’s victory against Frosinone were much needed and should not be downplayed. If Luka can repeat his remarkable performance in the coming months, he, as well as the club’s, story could change dramatically.

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