Ronald Koeman has made FC Twente winger Dušan Tadić his first signing at Premier League side Southampton. The Dutchman has parted with up to £11million to bring the winger to the St. Marys Stadium. Earlier this month, Southampton saw their player of the season, Adam Lallana leave for Liverpool in a massive £25million move. Tadić will be set to fill the England international’s boots, for almost a third of the price and he may turn out to be the perfect replacement writes Will Burns.
WHO IS DUSAN TADIC?
Dušan Tadić started out in his hometown with local side FK AIK Bačka Topola and was quickly picked up by top Serbian SuperLiga side FK Vojvodina in 2002 at aged 12. After moving through the youth ranks, he made his full debut at aged 18.
Tadić’s life in the Netherlands began in the summer of 2010 when he joined FC Groningen for just over €1 million. By the time he had turned 21, the left winger had impressed Groningen’s sporting director Hans Nijland scoring 29 goals in 107 outgoings over four seasons, and also making his international debut just 19-years old.
Nijland was the man that signed a little known Uruguayan striker called Luis Suarez a few years earlier and had reportedly seen off Sampdoria, CSKA Moscow and even Marseille for Tadić’s signature.
Tadić rapidly adapted to life in Holland and repaid the transfer fee over the two seasons playing 68 games notching 14 times. A star was born and in the April of 2012, FC Twente, then managed by Englishman Steve McClaren, made a huge €7.7 million bid for the Serb. The move was made official in the summer transfer window in July of that year.
In a dream start for Tadić, he scored twice against his former club Groningen on his first appearance, becoming an instant hit in Enschede. However, it was last season where the winger made his strongest impact. He was named Twente’s player of the season after scoring 16 goals in 33 games adding 14 assists in the process.
After missing the opening day of the 2013/14 season due to injury, his finest performance of the campaign may well have been the week after. It was a match at the rabid venue called ‘De Kuip’, the home of Dutch giants Feyenoord. Twente walked out of Rotterdam that day 4-1 winners against a Ronald Koeman managed side. Mr. Tadić was named man of the match after scoring two penalties and creating the other two. That result and performance may very well establish why Koeman wants to make the Serbian international his first signing at Southampton.
WHAT DOES TADIC BRING TO THE SAINTS?
A technically gifted left-winger, the two greatest talents at Tadić’s disposal is his exceptional passing and accurate crossing. Throughout his career in the Dutch top flight, his deliveries from corners and free-kicks have resulted in many goals being scored. Combine this with the capability to cut inside and carve up any defence with a killer ball, provides you of the main reasons for his many assists.
He will find space with his great movement and also has the uncanny talent to trick his opponent into the other direction, to gain that extra yard to accelerate past and supply the cross. If he cannot find a way to navigate past a full-back, he will look to swerve the ball past the player and into the box.
Tadić also has the benefit of being a good decision maker and is considerate with his play. If he sees a colleague in a superior position, then the ball will be played into his team-mate, no doubt about it. If he sees trouble ahead, then the ball will be turned around and played behind him so that his team keeps the possession.
Koeman may make the decision to drop Tadić into the middle of the park, behind the striker and the Serbian will feel right at home in the no. 10 role. He will keep the ball on the grass, feeding into his striker’s awaiting feet or patiently holding up play for the wingers to overlap and approach the area.
One thing is for sure is that I can see Dušan Tadić creating chances for the Saints. If Southampton go ahead and sign Graziano Pellè too, then the Italian will certainly thrive off the crosses that will be heading his way.
THE STATS (provided by OPTA’s Martijn Hilhorst)
Let’s see how Tadić compares with the rest of Europe when creating chances?
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