Manchester United have reported signed Partizan Belgrade’s 17-year-old midfielder Filip Stevanovic according to reports by the Serbian Telegraph. The teenaged faced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the UEFA Europa League group stage doubled header earlier this season, playing 15 minutes in Partizan’s 1-0 defeat in Serbia and playing 20 minutes in the 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford. It is suggested that Solskjaer was impressed with the teenager, prompting further scouting of the player.
United are said to be spending £10.9 million on Stevanovic this summer, although he will spend the entire 2020/21 season at his former club on loan, moving to Manchester next summer ahead of the first season playing for his new club. It is stated that Partizan wanted to receive £18 million for the player this summer, which could explain why the player will stay at his club on loan for next season. That could be good for the player, who could be ready to play for United’s first team in a years time.
The coronavirus pandemic is probably the reason why the lower fee was accepted though with clubs seemingly suffering financial problems with supporters not yet able to attend matches, therefore cutting the revenue of all clubs around the world. The player will follow in the footsteps of Zoran Tošić, who signed for United in 2009 from Partizan, although that does not suggest the player could amount to much seeing as Tošić stayed at United for just one season. Hopefully, this time will be different.
During the 2019/20 season, Stevanovic made a total of 35 appearances for Partizan Belgrade, playing in the Super Liga Srbije, the Kup Srbije and the UEFA Europa League, including the qualification stages. The teenager scored nine goals and three assists for his club, which is good considering the player’s age and the fact he is playing regular first team football for his club. It would seem that the player has a good future head of him and seeing him play next season, albeit in Serbia, will be interesting.
Despite being described as a midfielder, Stevanovic predominantly plays as a wide forward mainly on the left but has played on the right, and also through the middle in the central attacking midfielder position. The player is an attacking all-rounder, a superb dribbler of the ball, he has great technique; footwork, ball control and composure in tight spaces, which is a good sign. He also has goos coordination, agility and balance, great vision, playmaking skills and is a creative player.
This all seems good to read but will need to be experienced by watching the player. In the 2019/20 season, Stevanovic played 1,887 minutes of football, which for his age and the fact he is playing first team football, is great. Of course, what he does in Serbia matter little for United and the player will be judged on what he can do wearing the famous Manchester United shirt. If United do end up signing the player and he arrives at the club in a year’s time, he will be eligible to play U23 and first team football. It will be interesting to see what he can achieve at the club.
Written by John Walker