In October, meanwhile, he broke a 48-year record by becoming the youngest ever player to score five goals in a Bundesliga game during the 7-1 thrashing of Fortuna Dusseldorf, joining (you guessed it) Lewandowski in a list of only three non-Germans to achieve the feat.The sheer volume of goals that Jovic has scored and the records he has broken are impressive yet the variety of his strikes also point towards an exceptionally well-rounded finisher. Of his 17 in the Bundesliga this season, eight have come via his right foot, six from his left and three courtesy of his head.Furthermore, a demonstration of Jovic’s predatory instincts in front of goal can be shown by the fact that every single one of his 34 goals – in the Bundesliga and cup competitions – in a Frankfurt shirt have come from inside the penalty area.AdvertisementAdvertisementGiven that Jovic is a threat with either foot and in the air, it is interesting that his footballing inspiration is Radamel Falcao, a player who at his Porto and Atletico Madrid pomp scored virtually every type of goal imaginable, from acrobatic volleys to bullet headers to predatory tap-ins.Speaking about his idol in 2013 before his breakthrough at Red Star, Jovic reportedly said: ‘I like Radamel Falcao the most. Playing with the left, right, head. Every chance he takes, he’s fantastic. I’d love to be at least like him.’ Jovic failed to make the grade at Benfica but has flourished since leaving in 2017 (Picture: Getty)Considering his struggles with Benfica, Frankfurt and in particular their Sporting Director, Bobic, deserve great credit for identifying his potential and taking a punt on him. Although Jovic struggled to settle in Portugal, he has seemingly had no such issues in Germany.AdvertisementAt Frankfurt, there is a strong Serbian influence with Filip Kostic and Mijat Gacinovic both important squad players, while one of the breakout stars of the last World Cup, Croatian forward Ante Rebic, has also proved an invaluable foil.In contrast to his time with Benfica, Jovic is clearly valued by Frankfurt’s management and teammates as much of their tactical play is geared towards getting the best out of him. Frankfurt’s manager Adi Hütter has predominantly used a 3-4-1-2 system which incorporates attack-minded wing-backs and versatile forwards as part of Jovic’s support network.All five of left wing-back Kostic’s Bundesliga assists this season have been for his compatriot Jovic – the highest combination in the Bundesliga – while Danny Da Costa on the opposite flank has also delivered quality into the box with four assists overall. Only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (with 21) has scored more Bundesliga goals than Jovic (17) this season which, added to his five assists, means he has been directly involved in 37% of Frankfurt’s total goals. In Europe, his eight goals and one assist account for just under a third of Frankfurt’s 28 goals.Factoring in the eight goals he struck during the 2017-18 season and Jovic has 25 in 50 games, coming at an average of one every 118.32 minutes. That strike-rate is currently the fourth-best in Bundesliga history only behind Lewandowski, the legendary Gerd Muller and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Europa League top goalscorersOlivier Giroud (Chelsea)10Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla)8Munas Dabbur (Salzburg)8Luka Jovic (Frankfurt)8 Share Olivier Giroud is the only player to score more Europa League goals than Luka Jovic this season (Getty Images)The Italian is far from the first high-profile person in football to lavish praise on Jovic this season. His national team coach Mladen Krstaljic likened him to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez in March, while Frankfurt’s Sporting Director Fredi Bobic said he is a player of ‘exceptional ability’ after signing him permanently earlier this month. A former coach of Jovic’s at Benfica Helder Cristavao, meanwhile, said of him: ‘[he] reminds me of Sergio Aguero with his technique and instinct.’Jovic’s record both in the Bundesliga and Europa League this season demonstrates why he has emerged from relative obscurity to becoming one of the most feared and talked about players in world football over the course of the campaign. Mladen Krstaljic on Luka Jovic ‘He’s a classic goal-getter with great control of the ball and a good understanding of the game. I’d probably compare him to Luis Suarez. He’s courageous and dangerous at any moment because he’s always lying in wait for his chance or any inattention from the opponent.’ Filip Kostic (L), Luka Jovic (C) and Ante Rebic (R) have all been key components of Frankfurt’s side (Getty Images)Both Rebic and towering Frenchman Sebastian Haller also deserve credit for their selfless work up front that has created space for Jovic to inflict damage on opposition defences. Rebic has been a roving menace from a No.10 position, while Haller’s link-play – three of his nine Bundesliga assists have been for Jovic – has also been excellent.The problem that Frankfurt have is keeping Jovic beyond the end of the season, despite activating their purchase option to buy him this month. Should Frankfurt qualify for next season’s Champions League either through winning the Europa League or finishing in the top four, there is an outside chance he could stay.AdvertisementBut with Europe’s biggest clubs, including Chelsea, sniffing around him, that prospect appears unlikely. Bobic has admitted as much, saying recently: ‘There’s a real possibility that Jovic signs for Real Madrid. I hope and want him to stay here at Eintracht, but I’m also realistic and know that if a big club like Real Madrid want him then we haven’t got a chance of keeping him.’He’s staying! ☺Eintracht have exercised their option to make Luka #Jovic’s deal a permanent one, the forward signing a contract until June 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣!#Jovic2023 #SGE pic.twitter.com/3BAAcbgxCT— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) April 17, 2019 Advertisement Likened to Luis Suarez & inspired by Radamel Falcao: Why Chelsea should fear Luka Jovic Luka Jovic idolised Radamel Falcao as a young player (Getty Images)Jovic’s similarity in style to Falcao and desire to emulate him perhaps played a part in Benfica’s decision to sign him from Frankfurt in January 2016, considering the Colombian returned 72 goals in 87 games during a whirlwind spell in Portugal with Porto.Benfica have also enjoyed great success with Serbian players over the past decade with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Ljubomir Fejsa and Andrija Zivkovic all excelling in recent years while they have a strong track record with strikers recently too, Rodrigo Moreno, Oscar Cardozo and Raul Jimenez, all passing through.With Benfica’s strong Serbian contingent and excellent track record at developing strikers into elite talents, all the signs should have pointed to Jovic becoming a roaring success in Lisbon. Instead, homesickness and a lack of opportunities – he made four first-team appearances in 18-months – culminated in a loan move to Frankfurt in 2017.Both Benfica and Porto are renowned for their success in the transfer market when it comes to selling on players at a profit but a testament to how underwhelming his spell at the club was is that they were willing to send him to Frankfurt on a two-season loan worth €200,000 with an optional purchase clause of just €7 million. CommentShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitter431Shares By Oliver Young-MylesWednesday 1 May 2019 7:01 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link431Shares The silver lining from Frankfurt’s perspective should Jovic join Real, Barcelona or any other of Europe’s superclubs, is that they will be heavily compensated for their loss with reports stating that he will cost any interested party upwards of £50m – or in other words, almost ten times what Frankfurt have just paid for him.A couple more goals for the Falcao fanboy and Suarez heir against Chelsea might even see that valuation soar higher.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalEx-Arsenal scout claims Mikel Arteta will give Thomas Partey a new role Advertisement Chelsea might be the bookies’ favourites to win the Europa League this season but their place in the final in Baku is far from guaranteed with semi-final opponents Eintracht Frankfurt certain to cause them some problems over two legs.Frankfurt are the second-highest goalscorers in the Europa League this season having struck 28 times in their 12 games in the competition, while, in Luka Jovic, they have the second-most prolific player with eight goals. Incidentally, Chelsea and Olivier Giroud are top of those particular charts with 30 and ten goals respectively.While the 32-year-old Giroud is entering the twilight years of his career, 21-year-old Jovic is only just getting started and the spotlight will be firmly fixed on him over the course of both games to see whether he can replicate his exploits across his breakout season on the big stage of a European semi-final.AdvertisementAdvertisementMaurizio Sarri, who has endured a few difficulties with his strikers this season, acknowledged that Jovic will be the principal threat to Chelsea’s chances of progression, remarking after the quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague: ‘Eintracht are a great team with a wonderful striker, Jovic.’ADVERTISEMENT
Gary Cahill is backing Chelsea’s old heads to guide their younger team-mates through the fight for Barclays Premier League glory. The Blues maintained their pursuit of leaders Arsenal with an Eden Hazard-inspired 4-3 victory at bottom-of-the-table Sunderland on Wednesday evening, and head for Stoke on Saturday needing to repeat the feat if they are to maintain pace with the Gunners. Many members of the current team have no experience of winning the title, which the club did in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2009-10. However, Cahill is confident the manager who claimed those first two successes and the senior players who formed the backbone of his team can school a new generation in how to go all the way. He told the club’s official website, chelseafc.com: “It’s very tight at the top. All we can do is keep trying to win. “We did that on Sunday [against Southampton] and on Wednesday we went away from home to a team that is fighting and made it very hard for us, but again we got the win. “Jose’s experience will definitely help us this season. I’ve won cup competitions but I’ve never won the league, and it’s one of my goals that I’m aiming to achieve. “We have got players that have won the league a few times. They have got a lot of experience to give the younger players, like Eden, and we can all take confidence from them.” Hazard turned in an individual display at the Stadium of Light which left both Mourinho and opposite number Gus Poyet saluting his contribution. He made Frank Lampard’s 17th-minute equaliser and then scored his side’s second and third goals, although it was Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley who effectively sealed the victory six minutes from time when he turned substitute Demba Ba’s cross into his own net. Mourinho will hope for more of the same from the 22-year-old Belgian as he attempts to bring the league trophy back to Stamford Bridge. The man himself knows that will be far from easy, but he believes there is enough talent within the squad to push Arsene Wenger’s men all the way. Hazard said: “Arsenal is top and now we need to take three points every game. “There are big teams with us and it is difficult but we have a very good team – a young team but very good team – and we will see after December and January.” If the Blues are to succeed, they will need to defend significantly better than they did on Wearside, where all three of Sunderland’s goals came from set-pieces, although Cahill is not unduly concerned. The 27-year-old said: “If you take away the set-pieces – which we know is a huge part of the game – we limited Sunderland to few chances and defended well. “It was unlike us because we have done all right with set-pieces this season.” Press Association
That’s the view of manager Brian Boyle, whose side travel to play Derry in Group 2 of the competition tomorrow.The Premier County were narrowly beaten by Galway last weekend.Brian believes the players can recover from that setback… Tipp FM will regular updates on the match, which gets underway at 2.30 on Saturday afternoon.