Martin Baturina is the latest exciting midfielder to be linked with a move to Arsenal. The Croatian midfielder has turned 20 two months ago but already has 74 appearances for the club from Zagreb.
He’s been labelled as the next Modric and comes from the same academy as the legendary midfielder. He stands at 5ft8 and currently has 5 goals and 7 assists in the 25 games he’s played in his respective league. Dinamo will be hoping to make him the biggest outgoing transfer in their history, but Marko Pjaca’s €29.40m transfer to Juventus will be hard to beat.
Arsenal links have been relatively fresh but they fit with the general consensus that Arsenal are on the lookout for an attacking number eight if the opportunity arises. He joins McAllister, Lindstrom and co. rumour mill.
PLAYING STYLE AND PROFILE
Baturina can play any position in midfield but is at his best when he’s able to run at people on the break with the ball at his feet. He’s technically strong and surprisingly fast with the ball. Add agility, dribbling ability and feel for the right action and you have yourselves a proper midfielder.
He can turn with the ball with pace and makes dribbling look effortless, even at high speed. In my eyes, he’s best as an 8 but is generally comfortable anywhere, even on the wings. His vision is also a strong point of his as he regularly plays in people coming from 2nd plan.
He’s also been getting a feel for goals and he’s comfortable shooting with either foot. Understanding of his surroundings is also his strong point and he judges risk well. Especially in and around the box. When he gets over the ball, he can generate a lot of power in his shots and he typically connects on those. His shooting technique looks clean but still needs to be polished over time.
Sometimes you feel like he’s at his strongest when he’s in pressure situations, he thrives in that type of environment. He’s generally small in stature but combative and the duels he wins are won on his tenacity and eagerness to win the ball rather than his physicality. The stop-start in his game is also noteworthy as he can accelerate and stop rapidly, often leaving defenders on their back foot.
Even if Arsenal decide not to go for Baturina, he’s destined for big things. Premier League might be a jump made too soon but a league like Serie A or Ligue 1 would fit him well at his age. His skillset is definitely interesting and sought for in world football and I’m certain clubs will be lining up for his signature soon.
Of course, nobody can predict what his career will turn out to be like as a lot is at stake with any transfer a player makes. With the right guidance and some luck along the way, Baturina could be a Croatia regular on the international stage. Hopefully, he can fulfil his potential as the world will be watching.