Breaking into the Manchester City starting XI is an unenviable task given the sheer amount of money spent by the Etihad Stadium outfit over recent years and the world-class talent in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad.
Many that pen deals with the ambitious club are not expected to hold down a consistent place in the team week-in, week-out – but when the Citizens landed Stevan Jovetić in 2013 there was a collective feeling that the attacker had the potential to be a real star in England.
Fast forward two years and the Montenegro international has penned his farewell note to the Etihad Stadium club’s fans and is on the verge of a deal to return to Italy.
His acquisition was followed by excitement given the stellar reputation he built over five years at Fiorentina, but only 11 Premier League starts and eight goals is a meek return from a player that promised so much.
Looking at it objectively, Jovetić was an ideal signing for City; a deal that was thought out and a player that had all the criteria to improve the club’s attacking options.
The former Partizan Belgrade forward’s creativity, technique and footballing intelligence all blossomed during his time at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with the eastern European attacker adjudged as one of the hottest prospects in European football when City splurged on him.
City have played with one lone striker during Pellegrini’s reign at the club which has limited the options of all centre forwards at the club other than the world-class Sergio Agüero, but Jovetić had the versatility to still play a role.
Throughout his career for club and country, the 25-year-old has fulfilled roles as both the furthest man forward and as the designated number ten, increasing his chances of getting game time at the Etihad.
Jovetić’s time in England was obviously blighted by debilitating injuries, with the attacker spending prolonged periods on the treatment table and unavailable.
Upon news of Jovetić’s impending departure, Pellegrini labelled him as one of the best players that he has ever coached; high praise indeed from the experienced Chilean trainer.
As such, it is clear that it has been an issue of fitness rather than ability that has decreed that the Montenegrin’s time in the Premier League will be remembered as a failure.
A new challenge for Jovetić awaits, with an exciting opportunity to join an Internazionale outfit in transition.
The historic Stadio Giuseppe Meazza outfit have suffered from poor form in recent campaigns, but signs are there that the Nerazzurri will be a much more comprehensive team come the start of the new season.
The acquisition of Brazilian defender Paulo Miranda and imperious French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia are real statements of intent by Roberto Mancini’s men, but Jovetić’s signing could well be the deal that has Inter as one of Serie A’s frontrunners again.
The Milan-based outfit brought in Xherdan Shaqiri and Lukas Podolski in the January transfer window, but neither proved to have the ability to link the side’s midfield with main striker Mauro Icardi.
Jovetić, with his significant technical abilities and movement off the ball, seems like a perfect foil for the hotshot Argentine forward, with the pair’s partnership having the potential to be one of the most feared attacking duo’s in Italian football.
As in his time in England, the chance of Jovetić proving himself as a success at his new club will again depend on the ability to stay fit and be available more often than not.
Having Jovetić on the form he displayed for Fiorentina, alongside Icardi, would be be an ominous sight, with the 25-year-old deserving his quota of luck after an unfortunate spell in Manchester.