Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic has discussed the possibility of replacing Robin van Persie as Arsenal’s principle goal threat, and their careers have followed similar paths.
Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic has revealed he is happy to hear of transfer interest from Arsenal.
“I’ve heard about Arsenal’s interest. It’s a big pleasure for me to be on the radar of such a big club. I am happy about that.
“I’ve always had an affinity with Arsenal. It’s a major club with a big tradition, one of the biggest in Europe.
AC Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic’s career appears to be taking a similar trajectory to that of Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie, who enjoyed a great Arsenal career before moving to Old Trafford. Jovetic’s interview to the Sun would suggest that could continue.
Like the Dutchman, Jovetic originally started on the wing, where as a raw talent he learned his trade and acquired the discipline and movement of a top level footballer.
He then earned the opportunity to perform up front – either in the trequartista role or as an orthodox striker – and in the last two seasons has developed into a forward with the respectable strike rate of a goal every two matches.
In fact, the 23 year-old Jovetic is arguably ahead of Van Persie in at this stage of his career. The Dutchman was 25 before he achieved such a ratio, and the 15 league goals scored by the Montenegrin last season were more than Van Persie managed until he was 27.
This season Jovetic is comfortably his side’s top goalscorer and attacking threat, and he seems at ease with the added pressure and responsibility.
Like Van Persie, Jovetic struggled with injury in his early career too.
A cruciate knee ligament injury saw the Montenegro star miss the entirety of the 2010-2011 season, whilst he has had four more minor complaints in the past year.
However, in that period his longest absence has been just three weeks, and there are signs that Jovetic is over his worst.
Interestingly, Jovetic opened up about the prospect of replacing Van Persie at Arsenal.
“It’s not easy to replace Van Persie, who scored a lot of goals,” continued the Fiorentina ace in the Sun.
“Arsenal have plenty of players who don’t score like Van Persie, but are also very good.
“They are still very strong. I often watch Premier League games on TV. It’s one of the best leagues in the world and looks tempting for me.
“Maybe one day I will play there but I have a contract with Fiorentina and battling for a Champions League place in Serie A is the only thing I’m thinking about now.”
Having not played UEFA Champions League football since the 2009-2010 season it is clearly a high priority to him.
Perhaps Jovetic’s future is linked to both clubs’ finishes in their respective leagues, and the battle to qualify for Europe’s top competition is suddenly more important than ever.