Soccer has officially restarted in most of Europe after the summer break. Many of the continent’s top leagues, including the Premier League and Serie A, have returned to action, with some players shining early on—specifically, Serbian players. In England, Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrović scored a brace against Liverpool. In Italy, Juventus striker Dušan Vlahović also scored twice, this time against Sassuolo. Komnen Andrić scored a brace in his second Ligue 1 match of the year.
Serbia has become one of Europe’s biggest talent exporters in recent years. All of those strikers started their careers in the Serbian Super Liga, and there are plenty of others, too. With the national team qualifying for Qatar ahead of Portugal, Serbian players have been in even more demand than usual. The likes of Filip Kostić, Luka Jović, Marko Grujić, Nemanja Matić, and more have all swapped clubs this summer.
With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that the Serbian Super Liga is heavily scouted nowadays. But who are some players to look out for?
CB Strahinja Eraković, 21, Red Star Belgrade
Eraković has a chance to be on the Serbian national team at the World Cup. The defender, who has spent his whole career (except a loan to Graficar) with Red Star, is already a Super Liga veteran. He’s made more than 40 appearances in Serbia’s top flight, also featuring in the Europa League against the likes of Hoffenheim and Rangers. Eraković made his Serbian national team debut in June in a Nations League match. He’s a strong tackler who is good in the air and is a well-rounded defender.
LW Nemanja Jović, 20, Partizan Belgrade
Partizan is where many of Serbia’s best-attacking talents from recent years have come, and Nemanja Jović could be their next big thing. The Bosnian-born winger made his club debut at the age of 18 and scored in his second match. Jović found the back of the net five times in his debut season, and last season scored twice with five assists. Jović has already made his Serbia debut, a friendly last year against Jamaica. A strong passer with good dribbling and pace, he could be ready to move on.
DM Mirko Topić, 21, Vojvodina
Topić comes from the same academy as Serbia’s current midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. However, Milinkovic-Savic left the club at 19 to join Genk, whereas Topić is still with Vojvodina — somewhat of a surprise for the talented midfielder. He won the Serbian Cup in 2020 at the age of 19, having played all 90 minutes of the first two matches. A strong, physical midfielder, Topić has made multiple appearances for Serbia at youth level but may need a move to crack into the senior team.
LW Nemanja Motika, 19, Red Star Belgrade
Motika has long been viewed as a high-potential player. Born in Berlin, he played for Hertha Berlin at youth level until moving to Bayern Munich at age 14. Motika stayed for five years, impressing in various tournaments and leagues for the Bayern youth. A club debut for the Serbian — who switched allegiances in 2021 — always seemed possible, but with the talent in Munich he never broke through. Red Star bought him for almost $3 million in February, and now he looks to impress in his first full season at senior level. Talent runs in the family: his brother, Nikola, also plays for Red Star at U19 level.
LB Irakli Azarovi, 20, Red Star Belgrade
Everything is coming together for Georgia. They now have players across Europe’s best leagues and have a decent shot to be at a major tournament in a few years. Red Star pounced at the chance to bring one of the country’s top defenders in for less than half a million euros. Azarovi won the Georgian Erovnuli Liga three times and impressed last season with Dinamo Batumi. It’ll be interesting to see how he can perform in Serbia, a league 36 rankings higher in the UEFA coefficient rankings.
AM Đorđe Gordić, 17, Mladost
Đorđe Gordić is a sensational talent for Serbia. Only 17 years old, he already plays for the Serbian U21 team. Since joining Mladost, Gordić has featured over 30 times despite his age, with five goals and an assist. Some of Europe’s top clubs are allegedly lining up for the talented attacking midfielder, who will be out of contract in 2023. The pacy, physical midfielder looks the real deal for Serbia.
GK Novak Mićović, 20, Cukaricki
MLS fans may know the man Mićović is replacing, Djordje Petrović. Petrović joined the New England Revolution after a successful spell in Serbia, and now is one of the MLS’s better goalkeepers. However, when Petrović missed games in the Serbian Super Liga, his backup Novak Mićović also showed potential. In 26 games, he has ten clean sheets, with just 31 goals conceded. Now the club’s starter, he can finally show off his full potential — he’s a Serbian youth international for a reason.
CM Jovan Lukić, 20, Cukaricki
Lukić is one of the Super Liga’s more consistent midfielders. He made his debut at age 18 and has gone on to make more than 50 appearances in the league. In addition, Lukić has made almost a dozen appearances at youth level for Serbia, despite having just turned 20 in January. A strong midfielder capable of carrying the ball upfield, this could be a huge season for him.
ST Samed Baždar, 18, Partizan Belgrade
Baždar has been receiving a lot of interest lately after a massive season for Partizan’s reserve team. By the end of 2021, he had scored 37 goals for the Partizan U17 side in 29 games, including five hat tricks that season. Unfortunately for Baždar, he has yet to play a big role for Partizan — fifteen appearances, but no starts and just one goal. That strike came in the first match of this season, though, and he’s playing a big role as a super sub this season. This should be a big season for the fast, physical striker.
RW Uroš Kabić, 18, Vojvodina
Kabić is another graduate of the famous Vojvodina academy and a teammate of Mirko Topić. With this duo, Vojvodina reached the third round of Conference League qualifiers last season, with Kabić scoring twice in four games. Kabić has played over 30 games with the club despite having only turned 18 in January and could solidify himself this year as one of Serbia’s top prospects. A fast, elusive winger, Kabić has made seven appearances at various youth levels for Serbia.
ST Jovan Milošević, 17, Vojvodina
A prolific scorer at youth level, Milošević is another one of Serbia’s superb striker prospects. Milošević was great with the Vojvodina reserves before really taking off at the U17 Euros. The striker led Serbia to the semifinals, where they lost to the Netherlands on penalties. Milošević finished as the tournament’s top scorer, with an impressive five goals: one each game. He additionally chipped in with two assists, including one in the semifinal against the Netherlands. With the Serbian Super Liga starting recently, this will be an important year for Milošević. He’s a strong, fast player with great finishing.
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