Birmingham City are looking to finalise a deal for free agent Alen Halilovic.
The Croatian was seen as a player with huge potential when he left Dinamo Zagreb to join Barcelona in 2014, with some even tipping him to be the ‘new Messi’ at the Nou Camp.
However, his career has stalled over the past few years, even if he did sign for AC Milan two years ago, although most of Halilovic’s minutes have come out on loan, with his most recent spell in Holland with Heerenveen.
With Milan mutually agreeing to terminate Halilovic’s deal last month, he is on the lookout for a new club and reports have suggested he is close to joining Blues.
Here we look at THREE qualities he would bring to Aitor Karanka’s side…
Whilst the 24-year-old didn’t get close to fulfilling the Messi tag that was stuck on him, it gives an indication to the type of player he is.
Halilovic looks to get in pockets of space, he feeds through balls and he will look to score goals. For a Blues side that are desperate short of quality in the final third, he could be a very welcome addition.
Following on from that, Halilovic has the ability to beat a player with his dribbling and quick feet.
Blues are lacking someone with a bit of magic and unpredictability to unlock defences, something he can provide. It doesn’t always come off, but the former Hamburg man is a risk-taker and that is what the team need.
He will help evolve the style
Karanka has had a solid start at St. Andrew’s but Blues already look set up to play in one way – they sit deep and counter.
It’s clear they need to develop a new style of play to help control games, and Halilovic could be key to that.
He is willing to get on the ball, he will drop deep to link play and he is comfortable taking possession in tight areas. That could give Blues the platform to become more exciting to watch moving forward.