Luka Vuskovic – The Next gen of modern centre-backs

By ballprogression
6 Min Read

Luka Vuskovic is a name which has been highly coveted in the media over the last few weeks now. From PSG and Manchester City, all the way to Bayern Munich, the interest in his services has been ever rising since his debut for Hajduk Split.

He became not only the youngest debutant for “Bili” but the youngest debutant in the league. Ever.

On top of that, he’s also the youngest goalscorer of Hajduk Split ever and the youngest goalscorer ever in the Croatian Cup, with only 16 years and 2 days to his name.

He also managed to grab a goal for the club as a 15-year-old too, albeit in a friendly game against Schalke.

Vuskovic made his debut as soon as he was eligible to make an appearance and while some might say he was thrown into the fire too early, others recognize him for the supreme talent he is. He made his debut against none other than Dinamo Zagreb in the Eternal Derby of Croatian football. Think Barca-Real, Tottenham-Arsenal but at a smaller scale. 16-year-old centre-back getting the nod as a starter in that type of game? I’m talking SPECIAL level of talent.

If you like to follow young talents around the world, this surname might ring a bell for you. Luka is the brother of the talented HSV centre-back Mario Vuskovic, who coincidentally plays in the same position as him.


Vuskovic stands at 1.93m and already has a frame of a seasoned centre-back. Big step, impressive gait and high physical level make him an imposing figure at the back.

He’s 16 years old and he’s already comfortably bullying attackers 10 years older than him.

Combative and composed, he doesn’t back down from a duel of any kind. He still has work to do in terms of his ball-playing skills and simply translating what he’s been doing in youth football to first-team level. But even when he makes a mistake on the ball, you can simply tell the ingredients are there.

And this is what he’s been doing at youth level…

You really get the feel that he’s got all the qualities of a real modern centre-back. He likes to drive with the ball and win yards when he can, before punching a ball towards his attacking line.

He also loves a slide tackle and regularly engages in bullet like slide tackles from all angles.

He’s playing way beyond his years but just as any young centre-back, flaws are noticeable and are completely normal considering how quickly he’s been put into first-team action. All about brushing up and perfecting his skillset from now on, all the tools are there.


Vuskovic is a top talent and I’m certain hell go a long way if outside of football factors don’t prevent his growth as a player. It really isn’t a surprise that he might go down as the biggest sale of the club from Split, with reported prices upwards of 12 million.

We’ve already seen what type of talent can lurk in Croatia and this case might go a similar route as the now most wanted centre-back in world football. Gvardiol went through something similar at Dinamo, with Bayern already making enquiries before he made a senior appearance. He eventually went for 19 million but that looks like nothing compared to the 75 million he’s worth now. It’s why the European elite wants to close the business down as soon as possible in order to prevent a bidding war.

It’s important he chooses his next step carefully as the size of the club does not guarantee anything for a player’s career these days. Playing time and a gradual growth plan are extremely important at such a delicate age and he’ll hopefully choose his next club with that in mind. I’m sure well be seeing him paired up with Gvardiol in a couple of years from now if all goes to plan. Croatia are set at the back.

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