Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Andrija Zivkovic, the Serbia and Benfica winger.
The Portuguese champions Benfica has become increasingly famous for being a true gold mine when it comes to taking the best out of their players and making profitable sales to the major teams in Europe. The best examples are Angel Di María, Nemanja Matic, Fábio Coentrão and, most recently, Victor Lindelof (Manchester United) and Ederson Moraes (Manchester City).
The player analysed in the following article is Andrija Živković, who has been said to be the future golden piece of the Portuguese team.
Who is Andrija Živković?
Živković is a Serbian winger, born on the 11th of July of 1996 (20 years old), and raised in Partizan, having played there from 2009/10 until 2015/16, before moving to Benfica in the beginning of the 2016/17 season. At the service of Partizan, he won the Serbian League twice and one Serbian Cup. He made his debut for the Partizan A team in 2012/13. In the following three seasons he played a total of 92 matches, scoring as many as 24 goals.
In Benfica, he won the Portuguese Primeira Liga in, having played 24 matches in total, 15 of which were in the Portuguese Primeira LIga. He scored 1 goal for Benfica in the semi-final of the Portuguese Cup, against Estoril Praia. That was the game through which he drew the attention of the Portuguese football fans and of some European clubs.
He didn´t play on a regular basis this last season in Benfica, but certainly played enough to show that he is worthy of a more serious opportunity.
Talent Radar Player Accolades
As regards international achievements, he made his international debut for the Serbian U19 national team, having competed in the U19 European Championship in 2014. He played a total of 5 games for the U19 Serbian national team and scored 1 goal. Despite being his international debut season, he soon imposed himself as an undisputable player in the Serbian national youth teams’ starting XI. Since then, he has been always present in the Serbian youth national teams.
He was part of the team that won the U20 World Cup in 2015, having scored 2 goals in a total of 7 games. This was the moment when several Serbian players caught the eye of European clubs, such as Šaponjić, Milinković-Savić, amongst others, and Živković as well.
He is currently at the service of the U21 Serbian national team in the U21 2017 European Championship.
What is his style of play?
Živković is a natural winger. He plays mostly on the right side despite being left-footed, which allows him to cut into the middle and try to score, a move in which he is most dangerous and executes perfectly. He is a rather fast player and with a wide range of technical skills, and that helps his creativity which allows him to perform well both on the right and the left side of the field.
Živković is often the player break the opposition defence with his creativity and speed.
Being only 20 years of age, he stands out for being so important for the team he plays in due to his technical skills, and is a player whose fellow teammates, especially in the attacking sector, can rely on for he is famous for making perfect and rather frequent assists, which allowed him to soon become an important player in Benfica’s A team and one of the most cherished players in the Benfica squad.
All in all, Andrija Živković is a left-footed winger, who is more productive playing on the right wing, being an attacker who provides his team with penetrative movement and accurate passes and crosses, creating lots of scoring opportunities, both for his teammates and himself, either with his passes or crossing or with a tendency to cut in to the centre of the field and make use of his gifted left-foot to shoot.
What are his strengths?
Živković is a very creative player and uses his enhanced technical skills and extreme speed to give wings to his creativity, turning himself into a very dangerous player.
Amongst his range of technical skills, I would especially highlight his dribbling and crossing ability, which are most evident to anyone who watches him play.
Živković showed his qualities the most in a game against Estoril Praia, in the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup, where he scored an amazing goal and performed to an outstanding level.
He is also a very fast player, which makes him an expert in disrupting the opposition defence.
To sum up, he possesses the abilities that are almost mandatory for a winger to be successful in any European championship. He is fast, has a wide range of technical resources and is a creative and irreverent player, thus being able to frequently succeed in 1v1 situations. He can score goals by cutting in to the centre and trying a long-distance shot, which tends to happen often since he plays on the right wing and is left-footed. He also has the ability to break the opposition defence with accurate passes, sudden acceleration, and his delicious dribbling technique.
What are his weaknesses?
Andrija Živković is a very complete player, as described above, but still needs to gain some physical strength. This is perhaps his main, and only, weakness. Due to the fact that he lacks a muscular presence and physical strength, he possesses little advantage in 1 v 1 duels, which leads him to lose ball possession sometimes and to not be able to help his team when it comes to retrieving it, because of his difficulty in overcoming the physical power of some of his opponents. Still, he is very young and a muscular strengthening plan is something that the clubs often prescribe to players, especially those clubs which are experts in raising young players, like Benfica.
Živković decision-making capacity, which most young players somewhat lack, due to their inexperience, will only improve by playing often, and Benfica’s coach Rui Vitória will certainly make sure that Živković has every chance he deserves in order to improve and become a world-class player.
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