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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Meet Dinamo Zagreb wonderkid Nikola Moro… dubbed the new Luka Modric who is linked with a move to Manchester United

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Meet Dinamo Zagreb wonderkid Nikola Moro… dubbed the new Luka Modric who is linked with a move to Manchester United

THERE is probably nothing young footballers hate more than being compared to one of the greats of their country.

Rather than making their way in the game by developing their own style, they have to live up to the expectations of the more established player.

Croatian wonderkid Nikola Moro is a target for Manchester United and BenficaPA:Empics Sport

One who in all likelihood has enjoyed a stellar career.

So meet Nikola Moro, a Croatian midfielder who has been branded the new Luka Modric. No pressure, kid.

He’s been linked top European clubs, including Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk, but Manchester United are the standout potential suitor.

So with the Red Devils interested we asked our friends at Football Whispers to profile the the Manchester United target and discuss if he is worth all the hype.

Nikolo Mora has a striking resemblance to Luka Modric on the pitchGetty - Contributor Who is Nikola Moro?

The 19-year-old is a product of the Dinamo Zagreb youth system, and while may not have Modric’s flowing blonde locks, he has a similar skill set.

Moro has also captained his country at the Under-17 World Cup and Under-19 European Championships, so the comparisons are inevitable.

UNITED WANT MOR Manchester United to rival Benfica for Dinamo Zagreb and Croatia wonderkid Nikola Moro

He made his league debut in 2016, playing the full 90 minutes on the final day of the season in a 4-0 win over NK Lokomotiva.

It wasn’t until the second half of the next campaign that Moro established himself as a starter.

Moro captained his national side at the Under-17 World CupGetty - Contributor

A number of impressive performances saw him picked almost every week and even earned him minutes against Juventus in the Champions League.

Moro can be described as a defensive midfielder, but he’s more akin to a deep-lying playmaker than a destroyer.

Skillful on the ball, he has the running power and the guile to breeze past opponents and he loves to break forward and join the attack.

In his defensive duties, the teenager reads the game well and is eager to pounce when he sees an opportunity to steal the ball.

He has registered four goals and two assists in 20 league appearances this seasonGetty - Contributor

He definitely looks more comfortable in this anchor role than Modric did at the same age.

This season, in 20 league appearances, Moro has netted four goals and registered two assists. He’s shown he can make an impact in the final third.

Demonstrating great vision in his passing and quick feet to glide past defenders, Moro seems to be the full package. He has a big future in front of him.

How much will Moro cost?

Shakhtar Donetsk offered to buy the midfielder in the past and were willing to spend £12.5million. Dinamo turned down that bid and it’s clear they are not willing to let him go on the cheap.

And he has a contract with the Croatian side until 2022, which means they are in no rush to sell.

They hold all the power.

Capped at Under-21 level, Moro is highly regarded in the international set-up and he could be a shock contender for a place in Croatia’s World Cup squad.

Moro takes on Arsenal during the UEFA Youth LeagueGetty - Contributor

Receiving a call-up for the competition in Russia would only send his value through the roof.

The most Dinamo have ever received from selling a player is £20.7million when Juventus bought Marko Pjaca in 2016 – that topped the £19million it cost Spurs to land Modric in 2008.

Moro is set to eclipse both those deals. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see bids £25million lodged in the current market.

Moro is braced to become the most expensive Dinamo player in the club’s historyGetty - Contributor
Where is his most likely destination?

Given the resources available to Manchester United, the club could trump any bid and offer bigger wages than almost any European rival.

However, due to his age and experience, Moro would likely start as nothing more than a promising squad player.

Moro would need to fight for minutes at Old Trafford. Yet at a side like Benfica, who pride themselves on youth development, he would find more first-team opportunities.

Moro’s traits include his passing and ability to breeze past his opponentsGetty - Contributor

While they play in European competitions, Moro could develop without the pressure associated with fighting for a place in England’s top six.

In order to go on and emulate Modric, Moro must pick his next club wisely. He needs to find the right environment and the perfect situation to help him take that next step.

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