In an interview with 24Sata, Croatian head coach Zlatko Dalic referred to Tottenham Hotspur target Josko Gvardiol as “the best central defender in the world.” This comes ahead of a potential move to the Premier League that would cost Tottenham Hotspur £44 million.
The troubled look that Romelu Lukaku had on his face revealed its own mysterious narrative. During the tense goalless draw that resulted in Roberto Martinez’s side being eliminated from the World Cup in Qatar at the group stage, Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer needed a few moments to process what in the world had just transpired.
When the ball fizzed across the Croatian box in the waning seconds of the game at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lukaku could have been forgiven for planning his celebration. It would have been enough for Belgium to advance with just a flick of the striker’s leg who plays for Inter Milan.
But then Josko Gvardiol appeared out of nowhere, and everything changed. Clearing the way for Croatia’s advancement while eliminating Belgium from the round of 16 competition. It had the same feeling as trying to stop a bomb from going off with only one second left on the stopwatch.
Perhaps the most impressive and exciting piece of defense that we have witnessed throughout the entirety of the competition.
With a masterful performance for Croatia, Josko Gvardiol demonstrates why Tottenham want him.
At the end of the match, an emotional Dalic exclaimed that Gvardiol is the best central defender in the world. “He has grown up so much. The manner in which he plays, as well as the grace with which he controls the ball. It’s great.”
In a normal situation, we would argue that Gvardiol’s performance, which earned him the title of Man of the Match in what was arguably the most important game of his career to date, would have added a few extra pounds to his price tag.
The one-time target of Leeds United feels destined to leave the Red Bull Arena for a fee that the majority of people would consider to be a “snip,” but unfortunately for his current employers at RB Leipzig, his contract contains a release clause for £44 million, which means he can be transferred at any time.
After only two years in Germany, Gvardiol is in no hurry to leave the country, despite the fact that Tottenham and Chelsea are interested in signing him (The Telegraph). The 20-year-old player is said to be “very happy” where he is currently playing in Leipzig, according to his agent.
“He’s been solid. Jermaine Jenas, a former Spurs midfielder who now works as a commentator for the BBC, remarked that Gvardiol “has it all,” praising the latter player’s precise positioning as well as his ability to transform defense into offense with his signature marauding runs into the midfield.
When he first gets the ball, he has the ability to get around defenders and drive the ball into the middle of the field. He makes accurate passes and plays sound defense. He’s been fantastic. 20 years old; from a different class.”