Monday, March 27, 2023

Man United Identify Croatian Star As Potential Replacement For Defensive Ace: A Good Option?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are keeping tabs on Dominik Livakovic. The Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper has been identified as a potential replacement for David de Gea. The Red Devils fear that they may have to sell the Spanish superstar in the upcoming January transfer window. As a result, they have set their sights on Livakovic, though Jan Oblak remains their desired option.

Livakovic’s rise to prominence

A product of the NK Zadar youth academy, in his hometown Zadar, Livakovic moved to Zagreb in 2012. He initially used to play for the youth teams of NK Zagreb before switching to GNK Dinamo Zagreb in 2015, for a fee of €625,000. He was, however, immediately loaned out to NK Zagreb during the corresponding summer.

Livakovic impressed upon his return to NK Zagreb. As a result, he finally got the opportunity to make a breakthrough at Dinamo during the 2016/17 campaign. He made 22 league appearances that season, though the club narrowly missed out on the league title.

As for Livakovic, he has since become a first-team regular for Dinamo. In fact, the 24-year-old has already made 108 competitive appearances for the Modri, during his ongoing four-year spell at the club, which included a one-year loan spell at NK Zagreb.

Additionally, Livakovic has already won four caps for the Croatian national team, though he made his debut way back in 2017.

What can he bring to the table?

Livakovic’s style of play can be compared to Manuel Neuer. The Croatian, standing at 1.88m, is lightning quick when it comes to clearing out any potential danger. He is primarily known for his positioning, which allows him to cut out the angle and make it difficult for the opposition to find the back of the net. The 24-year-old also has quick reflexes, making him quite effective from close range efforts.

Should Manchester United make a move for Livakovic?

Livakovic will be a cost-effective option in Manchester United’s bid to replace de Gea. The Croatian international has already shown a lot of promise in the 1.HNL and could indeed be a viable target for the Red Devils. This is mainly because goalkeepers are unlikely to struggle in getting used to a different brand of football.

However, he certainly needs to improve his ball-playing abilities if he is to add another dimension to the United defence. But in hindsight, investing in Livakovic seems much more sensible than spending the big bucks on someone like Oblak, especially when Manchester United are in desperate need of a squad overhaul.

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