Scouting Time: Armin Gigovic
In this series, we take a look at some of the most interesting young talents in the football world. Next up is Helsingborgs IF’s midfielder, Armin Gigovic.
It says a lot about the prodigious talent of Armin Gigovic that at 18 he is already expected to carry the hopes of a big club like Helsingborgs and lead their midfield into battle. He is a promising starlet who may not even be in Allsvenskan past July or August at this rate; HIF turned down bids from clubs in Italy, rumoured to Genoa, in recent weeks and Premier League clubs like Arsenal and Manchester City are reportedly watching.
Truth be told, the teenager hasn’t set the world alight in the opening few rounds of the 2020 Allsvenskan season so far in a struggling Helsingborgs side that failed to score a goal in their opening three rounds and sat rock bottom of the table. Their problems, however, are not necessarily down to Gigovic – an injury crisis, underperforming players in key positions and a small squad with a busy schedule have all combined to give their manager, the beautifully-bearded former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg, both a headache and a reason to scratch his immaculately-coiffed chin.
Gigovic has done his best and, in fact, has probably been one of their best players despite all the chaos around him.
Two players spring to my mind when watching him – Samir Nasri and Kevin de Bruyne. A midfielder who can dictate play from a deeper midfield role, spreading silk-laced passes to teammates with either foot and threading through balls to the forwards with incisive passing and vision, Gigovic can also play slightly further forward as an 8 or even a wide forward. He takes the ball on the half-turn very well and can play one-twos in tight spaces to progress play towards the penalty area similar to the way Nasri used to do so well for Manchester City and Arsenal.
Statistically speaking, in Gigovic’s breakout campaign last season the 2002-born youngster completed 87.4% of his passes and 63% of his long passes in 1020 minutes of game time. He is still learning, still misplaces passes at times and is not the finished article by any means but his technique, the way he takes the ball in possession, looks after it, receives on the half-turn and plays through the lines – at such a young age – show really encouraging signs.
Personally, I still feel he has a lot to learn and improve on and should be looking to stay in Allsvenskan for at least one more full season to hone his craft with all-important first-team football before moving to a stronger league. But ultimately, money talks in these situations. Helsingborgs need it. Bigger European clubs have it. And they are preparing to spend it on Gigovic. Therefore you can expect him to move onto pastures new before too long. He has the potential.