If you’ve read Skills from Brazil, then you know that Jamie’s friend Rafael Da Cruz is quite simply a master when it comes to spotting football talent. So, we thought we’d put him to the test and ask him to do a regular feature where he predicts which young players will ultimately go on to become the world’s greatest, so this is the place where we peer into football’s future.
My eleventh Tip for the Top is…
Name: Ante Coric
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Club and League: Roma, Serie A
Strengths: Dribbling, vision, agility
Overall: Croatian Coric is a fabulous technician with the ability and potential to turn into a majestic maestro. Having turned down some of Europe’s elite over the years, big-spending Roma have finally lured the superkid to the Stadio Olimpico on a cut-price £5m deal. A masterful magician with the ball, his lower centre of gravity allows him to nimbly weave his way out of tight spaces and crowds of defenders.
Prediction for future: He has earned his place in the big time, and Roma will be looking to make the Italian capital the youngster’s home for the foreseeable future. However, with the Croat’s best position as a number ten behind the strikers, a side that plays 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-1-2 would suit him perfectly. Although not quite ready yet for the physicality of the Premier League, Serie A will surely be a good warm-up and a cushioning ease into the top footballing level that Europe can offer. A potential big-money signing for Unai Emery’s Arsenal in the coming years.
Rafa’s view: This man is quite fabulous! He is a creative genius; spotting a pass from anywhere, he has eyes in the back of his head when he’s on the ball. He reminds me a little of my compatriot Philippe Coutinho, as he like to drift out wide and check back inside to crack off a firecracker of a shot. A true hotshot for the future.