Tosic and Ljajic not yet United class

December 2, 2008

Speculation that Manchester United are after Serbia winger Zoran Tosic has gained momentum after reports that Sir Alex Ferguson had gone to some length to obtain a work permit for the 21-year old Partizan Belgrade player.

Tosic, who has made 12 international appearances but is yet to score for his country, is a decent player with a sweet left foot from set pieces but he appeared to be as stunned as many of my colleagues here in Belgrade after being told that Ferguson sees him as an ideal long-term replacement for Ryan Giggs.

“It’s fantastic to know that such a great coach speaks so highly of my abilities and I am truly honoured that he has so much faith in me,” Tosic told Belgrade’s daily newspapers.

Can a player yet to be tried and tested at top level fill Giggs’s boots on United’s left flank?

Will he, if United sign him, turn out to be a real asset like compatriot Nemanja Vidic or merely a fringe player?

Tosic’s diminutive and frail-looking posture suggests he could find it very difficult to adapt to the physical exertions and torrid pace of the Premier League. Croatia playmaker Luka Modric certainly found it tough at Tottenham.

United are reportedly also interested in Tosic’s 17-year old Partizan team mate Adem Ljajic, who recently broke into the first team and scored on his full debut after a 10-day trial at Old Trafford in October.

Although Ljajic has shown glimpses of extraordinary talent, he is still a far cry from living up to the billing of being “the Serbian Kaka”.

Both Tosic and Ljajic need a far more competitive environment than Serbia’s ramshackle 12-team league for any judgment to be passed and United’s board may well keep that in mind when the January transfer window opens.

PHOTO: Partizan Belgrade’s Zoran Tosic is seen in Belgrade in this Nov 12, 2008 file photo.  REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic

10 comments

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Thanks for the inside track on these two, Zoran. I guess good quality left-footed players are hard to find — hence the interest in Tosic from Sir Al.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Thanks for the insight on the two players Manchester United’s interested in. Being the Manchester United supporter myself, I was aware of the news since it was made known Sir Alex obtained a work permit for Tosic.

Yes, gifted left-footed players are few and far between.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive

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I have seen this player before he looks really good!!

Isn’t Nani supposed to be Giggs long term replacement?

Posted by Adam | Report as abusive

Adam, Nani WAS supposed to be a long-term replacement for Giggs but he is not left-footed and is also far more effective as a forward in a 4-3-2-1 formation than a left wing.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive

Ljajic is only 17. give him another 2 years, and then we can start judging him. hopefully, he’ll be with Serbia at the u21 tournament this coming summer

as for tosic’s stature, don’t forget that when ronaldo first arrived, he was also a skinny kid. look at him now. only time will tel if this was a good acquisition or not

Posted by Nemanja | Report as abusive

He is indeed a great winger as i follow Partizan Belgrade i have watched him throughtout this and last season he can turn a game around from nothing and in the serbian league which obviously is not a superior league he is the best winger. I think a move to Man Utd or any other big club will just show his talent to a greater extent lately he looks as if he is bored in the league as in all honesty he can run a whole team and score

Posted by Danny | Report as abusive

Sir -Al does have an eye for talent and over the years weve come to trust that.I think what’s moving for us all is that there will be a replacement for Giggsy some time or the other.I think any player in the world being dubbed as Ryan’s replacements is bound to be at the end of some vigorous critism,but that’s more reason for us to look forward to someone with broad shoulders and utmost humility(just like Ryan) to make a go of it.I think those two qualities would make any players job of filling Ryans boots much easier.Ryan’s been a true Prince at the ‘Th.of.Drm’s’

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

I agree with Zoran opinion about two kids. They are far away from Premier league ready material. Comparison with Modric is the good one, and let me remind you that Modric had serious international experience with both Croatia and Dinamo before the big move. On the other hand, Ljajic is still young and has time to develop, while Tosic is not even too young anymore and I would be really surprised to see him as United regular.