Croatian teen attacker Josip Brekalo has reportedly sparked interest from German side Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season
Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund side have previously been linked with moves for Serbian starlets Andrija Zivkovic and Luka Jovic, both 20. Additionally, Spezia’s Umar Sadiq, who is on-loan at Roma, Bologna’s Amadou Diawara, Godfred Donsah, and Universidad Catolica’s (Chile) Jeisson Vargas are considered targets for the Ruhr Valley club..
Having snapped up 19-year old Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino from Osasuna a few months back, it is understood Thomas Tuchel is keen to bolster the youth system.
So who is Josip Brekalo?
Born in Zagreb and joining his boyhood club Dinamo at the age of eight, the 17-year old Croatian prospect has caught the eye of both Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal this season.
It’s his performances in the UEFA Youth League which have sent scouts flocking for his signature. The youngster has scored three goals in the competition in five matches, including a goal and an assist against FC Bayern Munich’s entry, and goals against Arsenal and RC Anderlecht. After playing with Dinamo Zagreb’s reserve side in the fall, he has been called up to the senior side in December and is being introduced to 1.HNL league play, featuring as a sub for Dinamo in five matches and starting once.
Also a regular in the Croatian Under 17 national team, Brekalo has a similar playing style to Sevilla’s Yevhen Konoplyanka and Memphis Depay of Manchester United. Although best in the wide left position in a 4-2-3-1 formation, he can also play as a forward. He featured in the European Under 17 Championships in 2015, scoring a goal and providing an assist in five matches.
Brekalo likes to cut inside and shoot from distance on his favoured right foot. He is unpredictable to opponents, has explosive acceleration and dribbling ability at speed. The teen sensation also displays an exceptional ability to maneuver in small spaces, specializing in beating players over a short distance with the ability to score from practically every position. The fact that he is dangerous in the box and has natural flair indicates that he could prove to he is a nightmare for opposing players.
The youngster will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovacić and Alen Halilović,who have gone on to play amongst Europe’s elite.
It is worth noting that Dinamo U-17’s have a few other players that seem destined for a top career – Dejan Lovren, Borna Sosa, Vinko Soldo, Karlo Igor Majić, Nikola Moro and Adrian Blecić.
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