Name – Nikola Krstovic
Age – 22
Nationality – Montenegrin
Position – Striker
Club – DAC 1904
With it looking more and more likely that Alfredo Morelos will be leaving this summer, Michael Beale will be on the hunt for a replacement, so let’s take a look at someone who was a rumoured target in January, Nikola Krstovic. The young striker has been in fine form for his club DAC this year scoring nineteen goals and grabbing two assists in twenty-five appearances and these numbers are grabbing the attention of many scouts around Europe.
Listed at 6’1 he is strong in the air and on the deck, an accomplished dribbler and composed finisher. He offers similar to Morelos in that he can bully defenders and often forces them into making mistakes but his finishing is more akin to Colak as he often manages to tuck the ball right in the corner out of the goalkeepers reach.
That is the thing which people will notice first, if you look at the stats, nineteen goals from an xG of 13.76, meaning he’s scored over five goals more than expected, which is a terrific stat. Even if you break it down Per90 he scores at a rate of 0.87 goals against an xG of 0.63, just highlighting how excellent his finishing has been this season. He also averages 50% of his total shots on target at a rate of 5.52 Per90, numbers the current Rangers strikers could only dream of!
Something he does provide which is different to Rangers current striking options is a confident and assured ability to carry the ball up the pitch. Neither Colak or Morelos average one Progressive Run per game where Krstovic averages almost two and a half. In Layman’s terms this means he carries the ball closer to the opponents goals over a distance of more than ten metres. He not only carries the ball forward but as stated previously is an accomplished dribbler, completing 59% of the almost six dribbles he attempts Per90. He is a real difference maker inside and outside of the box.
He also loves to put himself about as seen by the amount of duels he gets involved in, getting involved in more than double the amount of offensive duels Colak and Morelos do while also winning a higher percentage of them. The numbers all around are great and exactly what Rangers should be looking for.
He’s not only great on paper, anyone who’s watched any match footage of him will confirm he also impresses on the eye. He can scores goals with both feet and is a genuine threat in the air, pair that with being able to carry the ball forward and beat opponents while having the tenacity to compete with defenders and make a nuisance of himself throughout a whole match. What’s not to love?
DAC were apparently looking for around £5m in January but with Krstovic recently signing a new two-year deal they may be trying to squeeze a bit more out of any buying club. He has the potential to play at the highest level and if Rangers can finance this move it’s one they should be looking to get sealed quickly before someone else swoops in.