Football scouting blog
Name: Andrija Balić Age: 18 years old (August 11, 1997) Club: Hajduk Split
League: Prva HNL Height: 180 cm, 5’9 Position: DM/CMEmbed from Getty Images
Andrija Balić is one of the most exciting midfielders coming out of Croatia. And he is just one among other exciting prospects from the Prva HNL who look destined for big things in the near future. The young central midfielder is already been in contact with several top clubs and it won’t be long till one of these clubs agree to pay the £4 mil price tag; But for now, he is happy to stay and grow at Hadjuk Split. As he says;
“Certainly I would’ve been sorry had I gone, especially now. Who knew I’d score five goals and become a regular? I have a new contract, I’m glad Hajduk believe in me. I’d like to stay while I’m still growing as a player, and then, we’ll see.”
Physically, he is ready to play competitive football in any league especially as a deep lying playmaker but in saying that he isn’t a powerhouse midfielder. He knows exactly how to use his strength and uses it well to intercept the ball and draw fouls. A tenacious midfielder with average level of acceleration over the first five metres but not particularly pacy. Also, not the most agile of players and can at times go rolling around on the floor at the littlest touch.
He is fairly technical and he prefers to uses his right foot often but capable of playing with his weaker foot just as well. And, that might as no surprise as he is keen admirer of Barcelona midfield superstar, Andreas Iniesta.
“I love Iniesta’s style of play, he fascinates me,” he admits
Balić is capable of beating a player with his skills but not an incredibly gifted dribbler. Also, he has good passing range and he likes to attempt the long diagonal and spread the play but his passes don’t always reach the required target. Definitely, needs to improve his long range passing especially his consistency. He, at times, likes to get a lot of height on the pass which means it takes a longer to reach the player which can kill the momentum of an attack.
Tactically, he is very aware of his surrounding and he understands how to move into the space. He has the knack of arriving late into the box and getting shots on goal. A trait every goal scoring midfielder naturally has although, this is not a big part of his game. He is also good at anticipating where the ball might end up and reading the game which leads to him getting a lot of interceptions. Balić has great composure in midfield and is working on making himself a more rounded footballer but his future does remain in central midfielder.
Potential: (World Class)
Andrija Balić has good on field awareness, that its easy to see why he is already on the radar for a few top clubs. He can easily be part of any club in the Eredivisie and look just as good as any player on the park, a move to the top clubs in Europe could perhaps be to soon as his father says;
“We, his family, are no barrier for his transfer abroad, but me and my wife would like to see Andrija stay at Hajduk and develop even more before going somewhere else,” he told Sportske Novosti.
But, he has all the ability to one day be a regular for his national team and play for a top club but only if he takes the proper steps in his development.