Susic’s Dilemma: The Complete List of Potential Bosnian World Cup Players
Even his harshest critics will admit that Susic has done something remarkable and historic by helping Bosnia qualify for it’s World Cup. After all, that goal eluded even Bronze World Cup winner Miroslav “Ciro” Blazevic, among others. Susic undoubtedly has charisma and commands tremendous respect and admiration from his players. However, he is not without faults. Susic has not exactly been the most savvy manager when it comes to scouting out potential national team players.
Throughout the years, he has gotten a lot of help from the press and amateur scouts such as Jusuf Becirovic, responsible for bringing the Hajrovic brothers into the fold. Continuing in this tradition, BHDragons has outlined a few names for Susic to consider as we head into the home stretch of preparation for the World Cup. Because, in Susic’s words, “we are not traveling all the way to Brazil just to show up.” If he’s serious about that commitment, he should strengthen the roster, any way he can.
Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros) – CB/DM
We start out search with a young player out of Hungary, currently playing for Ferencvaros. With the ability to play as a defensive midfielder, he has consistently been a starter for his club at the centre-back position. Last season (12/13 he played a total of 22 matches in the league.) Besic came through the HSV ranks in Germany, before a scuffle with the manager sent him packing.
Besic began his career for the national team for the U21 side against Italy in 2010. He made his debut for the senior team in 2010 in a friendly match against Slovakia, becoming the youngest player to do so, a record previously held by Miralem Pjanic. He was with the team for the remainder of the 2012 campaign, coming off of the bench against Albania at home to record his first competitive minutes for his country.
After the friendly with Greece in October of 2011, Besic was transferred to the U21 side, under Vlado Jagodic. Interestingly, Susic called on him once again in November of 2011 for the playoff set against Portugal. After this, he resumed his campaign duties for the U21 team. He was once again called up to the senior level against Wales, in a friendly in August of 2012. Besic was on the bench against Greece away, as well as Greece at home, where Bosnia won 3:1. Since then, he has only sat on the bench against Albania for the U21 side in June of 2013. Jagodic has claimed that Besic is an unruly player who has no place in his team. Besic has responded that he has no problems with the manager or anybody else and that he welcomes a return to the national team.
The situation is unclear at the moment, but Susic should at least talk to Besic and Jagodic to straighten out whatever happened. Besic is a valuable young player that could help the team with his versatility and intelligence.
Emir Dilaver (Austria Wien) – RB/DM/CB
Emir Dilaver is a natural right-back currently playing for Austria Wien in the Austrian Bundesliga. His team is also part of the Champions League group stage, where Emir has started consistently. Most recently, Dilaver played as the starting defensive midfielder for Austria Wien against Porto. Dilaver actually has 15 caps under his belt for the Austrian U21 team.
Dilaver has some versatility to his game, also being utilized as a left back on several occasions for his club, although he has played as a defensive midfielder most recently. Dilaver has been photographed several times with the Bosnian flag and scarves, alluding to the fact that he’s patriotic to his birth country, hailing from Tomislavgrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Miral Samardzic (Sheriff Tiraspol) – CB
Miral Samardzic is a 26 year old starting center-back for Sheriff Tiraspol, a Europa League Group Stage team from Moldova. Samardzic grew up in Slovenia, being hailed as one of the most promising and talented defensive players from his generation in the country. Samardzic actually has one cap for Slovenia’s senior team, albeit in a friendly against Canada. The player is still eligible for Bosnia’s national team and he’s expressed his desire to be part of the lineup.
Samardzic is not the most physically domineering player, but he posseses great intelligence and ability to read the game. He is also a natural leader, being the captain of the Sheriff Tiraspol side.
Edin Cocalic (Maccabi Haifa) – CB/DM
Perhaps one of the most controversial players on our list. Edin Cocalic is a 25 year old center-back who can also play as a defensive midfielder, playing his club football for Maccabi Haifa in Israel. Cocalic worked his way up from Zeljeznicar in Bosnia’s top flight, eventually transferring to Panionios in Greece, before landing at his current club in Israel. Cocalic was part of all Bosnian youth teams, captaining the U21 side at one point.
He has never received a senior team call-up, even for a friendly match, despite his experience and leadership ability. Susic has downright refused to even acknowledge the player, saying that he doesn’t believe Cocalic is national team material. This has left many scratching their heads at choices such as Vrsajevic who plays in a weaker Croatian league, with less experience and versatility. Cocalic is a tall (6’4) player with real strength that could help the Dragons with their defensive midfield problems, or even as a center-back. Cocalic is definitely a player that could add real bench depth.
Dino Arslanagic (Standard Liege) – CB
Arslanagic is undoubtedly one of Belgium’s most prized young center-backs, standing at 1,94. He is a starter for one of Belgium’s top sides, as well as a standard Belgium U21 player, which is no small feat considering the competition at the position currently. Arslanagic is a tall, powerful defender with a high football IQ which is always crucial for a young defender, especially going up against top competition at a major tournament.
Arslanagic has been utilized as a starter in the Europa League for Standard, only making one start for Standard in the league this season, along with one start in the cup.
Aldin Dzidic & Nikola Vasiljevic (Shakhter Karagandy) – CB
Perhaps it’s unorthodox to pair two players on a list of potential national team players, but this partnership has been a wall in Shakhter’s defense this season. Even though both players play in a somewhat weak Kazakh league, their defensive capabilities have propelled Shakhter to the group stage of the Europa League, which is quite impressive considering the quality on the team. Even though these players are on the back end of their careers, their experience and constant form might be useful for Susic at the World Cup. Dzidic is 30 years old, and has played a total of 1915 minutes this season so far. Dzidic has also been part of the national team on previous occasion. Vasiljevic is younger by a year, but also the much taller player of the two, standing at 1,99. Vasiljevic has played 2475 minutes for the club this season, tallying 5 assists and a goal to his record. He’s also been capped by Bosnia on two occasions.
Dario Dumic (Brondby) – CB
Dario Dumic is a 21 year old, Sarajevo born, center-back for Brondby in Denmark. Dumic is the starting center-back for his club side, having passed through all of the youth teams in Denmark up to the U20 side. In a recent interview, Dumic has stated that he would like nothing more than to be part of Bosnia’s national team.
Susic would do well to consider Dumic as competition for the other defenders in the squad. Dumic is rarely injured, with decent size at 6’4.
Sedin Torlak (FK Olimpic) – CB
Sedin Torlak currently plays for FK Olimpic, an upstart club in Sarajevo with high ambitions. However, he’s known more for his time at Sarajevo rivals FK Sarajevo, where he still holds a fan favorite status with the fans. Torlak is a tough, muscular centre-back that actually received a national team call-up by Miroslav Blazevic for a game against Armenia. Torlak is tough and strong, and has plenty of experience and leadership ability. Susic might opt to go with a local, domestic flight player as bench strength.
Sanel Jahic (St. Johnstone) – CB/DM/LB/RB
Bosnian fans will long remember Sanel Jahic for his goal against Belgium in 2009, when Bosnia celebrated 2:4 in a great victory that propelled them to the playoffs of the 2010 World Cup qualifications. Jahic is a complete utility player. He’s capable of playing a wide range of positions of the field. His natural position is centre-back, but Jahic has played almost every position on the field, including striker for Zeljeznicar in his younger days. Jahic has also played for a high number of clubs, most recently moving to St. Johnstone, intent on earning his national team spot back. Even though Jahic 31, his versatility and doggedness might be something of interest for Susic.
Milan Rodic (Volga Novgorod) – LB
Milan Rodic is a 22 year old left-back currently playing for FC Volga Novgorod on loan from Zenit St. Petersburg. Rodic has 8 caps for the Serbian U21 team but is eligible to play for Bosnia’s national team. Rodic has decent size and speed to add bench depth at the left-back position on Bosnia’s roster, something the nation has struggled with for quite some time.
Mirza Mujcic (GAIS Goteborg) – CB
Mirza Mujcic is 19 years old and currently plays as the starting centre-back for GAIS Goteborg in Sweden’s top flight. He’s a tall (1,90) player with strength to spare and he’s being touted as one of the better young defenders in the country. Mujcic has expressed his wish to play for the Bosnian national team, despite coming through the Swedish youth ranks, currently part of the Swedish U19 team.
Marin Leovac (Austria Wien) – LB
Marin Leovac is a tenacious 25 year old left-back for Austria Wien. Leovac was born in Jajce, and has represented no country internationally, including on the youth level. Leovac is the backup left-back for Austria Wien, although he does start matches occasionally. Leovac might not be the quickest or strongest player, but he fights for the ball with tenacity.
Senad Karahmet (Mechelen) – LB/LM/LW
We had the opportunity to interview Senad a couple of months ago, and the lad seems determined to make it big, and represent his country. Unfortunately, his statistics do not back up his enthusiasm, as he’s seen limited minutes this year for his Mechelen side in Belgium. He’s still young, 21, and has the talent to become a premier player.
Dino Bevab (NK Zagreb) – LB
Dino Bevab has been a staple of the U21 team under Vlado Jagodic. This 20 year old is a natural left-back and starter for NK Zagreb, now in the 2.HNL in Croatia. Dino is the starting left-back for the Bosnian U21 team, and has proven himself to be a reliable player at the position. With decent speed and crossing ability, Bevab could still develop into a premier player.
Nedim Sacirovic (Luzern) – RB
Sacirovic is a 19 year old speedy right-back that also just got promoted to Luzern’s senior team after a stellar season in Switzerland’s second flight. Blistering pace and an ability to read the game give this young Bosnian a leg up on the opposition even at a young age. Like many other Bosnian talents in Switzerland, he’s come through most of the country’s youth teams.
Sead Hajrovic (Grasshopper) – CB
Bosnian fans will be familiar with this name on our list. Sead has joined his brother Izet at Grasshoppers in Switzerland, after being released from the Arsenal youth ranks. Hajrovic is a tall, powerfull centre-back that has been a welcome addition to the Bosnian U21 squad. Hajrovic is only 20 years old, but could be useful as a bench player for Susic in Brazil. The Bosnian national team has never had two brothers on the team at the same time, which would be an interesting side note.
Dario Zuparic (Pescara) – CB
Dario Zuparic is a 21 year old centre-back for Delfino Pescara, a club in Italy’s Serie B. He is currently a bench player at the club, only seeing limited action this season. Zuparic was born in Croatia, but chose to represent BiH U19 because his parents are Bosnian Croats. He later switched to the Croatian youth teams but is no eligible for the senior Bosnian national team. Zuparic is a powerful player, and even though he rarely sees minutes at his club, the talent is definitely there and something to consider for Susic.
Mateo Susic (Energie Cottbus) – RB
Mateo Susic, no relation to Safet Susic, is a 23 year old right-back, currently starting for Energie Cottbus in the 2. Bundesliga in Germany. He recently transferred to the club from Istra in Croatia, after initially starting his career at Zrinjski Mostar in BiH. Susic is a dogged, pacey player with 7 caps for the Bosnian U21 team under his belt.
Gordan Bunoza (Wisla Krakow) – CB
Bunoza is another one of those players that Susic has outright refused to acknowledge as even a possibility for the Bosnian national team. This is strange behavior from a manager that should consider all the possible options on the table. Bunoza has been Wisla Krakow’s starting left-back for quite some time now. Wisla is one of the top clubs in Poland, and Bunoza would certainly be healthy insurance at the position heading to Brazil. Bunoza is 25 years old, 1,95 tall, with the ability to play as a centre-back as well. He has seen 1297 minutes of playing time this season for Wisla.
Adnan Causevic (Tromso) – CB
Adnan Causevic is a 23 year old defender for Norwegian club Tromso. He was born in Prijedor, BiH and joined Tromso after playing for Vard Haugesund. Causevic is an integral player for Tromso, being one of their starting centre-backs. He has played in all of their Europa League matches this season, as well as being a constant starter in the Tippeligaen. So far this season, he’s played a total of 1963 minutes, which is impressive to say the least. Causevic is young, but already displaying excellent leadership ability and a veteran presence.
He is definitely high on our list of recommendations for Susic as a potential bench player.
Jasmin Buric (Lech Poznan) – GK
Jasmin Buric is a 26 year-old starting goalkeeper for Polish side Lech Poznan. He stands at 6’4, born in Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Buric made his debut for Lech in 2009, and after battling the bench, he eventually won the starting spot. Buric has missed the majority of the current season thanks to a hip injury.
The Polish media have heaped praise on Buric since he became a starter for Lech, lamenting the fact that he is Bosnian, wishing he could be part of their national team roster. Buric has consistently been one of the best goalkeepers in Poland.
Eldin Jakupovic (Hull City) – GK
Hull City starting goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic has recently come out to the Bosnian media and stated he would like to be part of the national team. This is normal considering the success the team has had recently. Many in Bosnia are questioning his motives and his loyalty, however, and asking where he has been before Bosnia actually qualified? Jakupovic has been part of both Switzerland and Bosnia’s U21 teams, and actually made a friendly debut against Cyprus for Switzerland.
Nevertheless, the quality is there, and Jakupovic plays in a relatively strong league. He is definitely an upgrade over Asmir Avdukic, the veteran Borac Banja Luka goalkeeper who seems to be yet another one of Susic’s binkies.
Zlatan Alomerovic (Borussia Dortmund) – GK
Zlatan Alomerovic hails from Priboj, Serbia, possesses German and Serbian passports, but has a desire to play for Bosnia-Herzegovina due to his Bosniak origins. The 22 year-old goalkeeper was a substitute recently for Borussia Dortmund. Regarded by many as Weidenfeller’s long-term replacement, Zlatan is both young and talented, and has already played over 50 games for Dortmund’s 2nd team in the German 3rd division.
Raif Husic (Bayern Munchen) – GK
Raif Husic is the youngest goalkeeper on our list, and definitely a long shot for the national team due to his age. Nevertheless, he is probably one of the most talented young goalkeepers in Germany right now. 17 year-old Husic is part of Bayern’s U19 squad. He is also Bayern’s starting goalkeeper in the UEFA Youth League.
Matej Delac (Vojvodina) – GK
Delac, a towering (1,90), 20 year old is the current starting goalkeeper for Vojvodina in the Serbian top flight. He’s on loan from Chelsea. He’s long been perceived as one of the best goalkeeping talents to come out of the Balkans in the last ten years or so. Delac has an incredible wing-span, and is quick on his feet for a big man.
Even though he’s actually been through all of the Croatian youth ranks, in a recent interview he has stated that he would have no problem playing for Bosnia’s senior team, and welcomes the opportunity. That should come as no surprise, considering he was born in Gornji Vakuf. He’s played a total of 1867 minutes this season so far, including the Europa League. Out of 21 matches, he’s conceded 18.
Ibrahim Sehic (Qarabag) – GK
Sehic has fallen out of the good graces of the Bosnian media recently, and his transfer to FK Qarabag in Azerbaijan has not exactly helped his cause. At one point, he was dubbed as Hasagic’s successor in the national team, only to have the spot rightfully taken by Asmir Begovic. Despite this, Sehic has been a solid goalkeeper, first in Turkey, and now in his new club. Sehic still has plenty to prove and his talent could prove useful as a third string goalkeeper in Brazil.
Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz) – DM/CM
Alen Hadzic has been a popular name circuling in Bosnian media circles for a while now. The steadfast defensive midfielder recently transferred to Sturm Graz from Ried, in the Austrian Bundesliga. Hadzic would certainly provide some insurance at the defensive midfield role, should Susic choose not to go with the aging Elvir Rahimic, or Bochum’s Adnan Zahirovic. Hadzic is 24 years old, and can also play as a central midfielder, and an emergency attacking midfielder. For Sturm, he’s played a total of 1346 minutes this season.
Nemanja Gudelj (AZ Alkmaar) – CM/AMC
Nemanja Gudelj recently signed for AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie. Gudelj is 22 years old and plays as a central midfielder, but can also be utilized as an attacking midfielder, or even a defensive midfielder. Gudelj actually has several caps for the Serbia U21 team, however, because of his roots in Trebinje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the player could be eligible for our senior team. Gudelj is a tough player that makes smart passes and distributes the ball from the center of the field. His regular starts in such a quality division could be a welcome addition to the Bosnian national team.
Haris Duljevic (FK Olimpic) – LM/LW
20 year old Haris Duljevic is quickly becoming a star in the Bosnian Premijer Liga, where analysts are now calling him a top talent, and one of the better players to emerge out of the club youth scene in the country. He is currently the starting left-midfielder for FK Olimpic, one of the top clubs in the country. Duljevic possesses great speed and strength, often being compared to a young Cristiano Ronaldo. High praise certainly, and Duljevic has backed it up with consistent quality starts. Duljevic is a player that has an eye for goal as well. He’s been a staple of the Bosnian U21 team for a while now. Duljevic is currently being lined with several Bundesliga and Ligue 1 teams.
Zlatko Tripic (Molde) – RM/RW
Zlatko Tripic is a 20 year-old Molde player, currently on loan to Fredrikstad. Although Tripic grew up in Norway, he has Bosnian roots and has already expressed his willingness to represent Bosnia internationally. Tripic has one cap for the Norwegian U21 side under his belt. Tripic is a fast winger that can cross the ball effectively and can even score when asked. Tripic is a player that worked his way up through various youth club ranks in Norway before finally landing at Molde.
Veroljub Salatic (Grasshoppers) – DM/CM
Vero Salatic is the 28 year-old captain of Grasshopper Club Zurich in Switzerland. His primary position is defensive midfielder, but he can also play central midfield. Salatic was born in Zvornik, BiH, but moved to Switzerland as a child, and worked his way up through the youth ranks at various clubs in the country. Salatic represented Switzerland on various youth levels and has an impressive 25 caps for the Swiss U21 team. He denied several call-ups by the Serbian football federation, saying he wanted to play for the Swiss national team.
Recently, Salatic has admitted he would like to play for the Bosnian national team. Many in BiH are skeptical of his intentions, calling him an opportunist and a mercenary. Whatever the case may be, Salatic is a quality midfielder with plenty of experience. He would certainly improve the Dragons’ bench.
Mehmed Alispahic (Rijeka) – AMC
Mehmed Alispahic is a 26 year-old attacking midfielder, playing for the tenacious Rijeka side that has made waves this season by eliminating Stuttgart to reach the Europa League group stage. Alispahic is the teammate of the current national league player Zoran Kvrzic. Alispahic formed a formidable partnership with fellow Bugojno born player Ermin Zec at Sibenik early in his career. The two split ways with Zec transferring to Turkey and Alispahic joining Dinamo. After not seeing playing time, the attacking midfielder has found a new home in Rijeka where he has impressed. He’s played close to 1200 minutes this season so far, including in the Europa League. Alispahic has actually been part of the national team for a series of friendlies but was not called up after that.
Zlatko Janjic (Aue) – AMC
Zlatko Janjic is a 28 year-old attacking midfielder for FC Erzgebirge Aue, a 2. Bundesliga club. He’s played a total of 15 matches this season, with a goal and two assists to his name. Janjic is an experienced player who was in the top flight in Germany with Arminia Bielefeld at one point. His experience and veteran experience could be useful on the national team roster.
Vlastimir Jovanovic (Korona Kielce) – DM/CM
Doboj born Vlastimir Jovanovic is a 28 year-old starting defensive midfielder for Polish club Korona Kielce. This season, Jovanovic has played a total of 13 matches, or 1075 minutes. Jovanovic is a mobile, powerful midfielder that can also be utilized as a holding central midfielder.
Sanjin Prcic (Sochaux) – RM/CM/LM
20 year-old Sanjin Prcic is a winger for French Ligue 1 club FC Sochaux Montbeliard. Prcic is currently one of the most exciting talents in the Bosnian youth ranks. He has earned the trust of his manager, and starts for his club as a central midfielder. Prcic is a versatile player with fantastic technique and touch, giving him the ability to create plays, much like Zvjezdan Misimovic in his younger days. Prcic is a heavy favorite to be included in Susic’s final Brazil squad. Susic has recently praised Prcic and stated that he is definitely watching his progress, and will have no choice but to call him up if he continues to start for Sochaux, in one of the top five leagues in Europe.
Miroslav Radovic (Legia) – AMC/RW/LW
Miroslav Radovic is one of the best players in the Polish top flight, playing for Legia Warsaw, as an attacking midfielder or winger. In ten domestic league games this season, Radovic has scored six times and assisted once. He’s also assisted twice and scored once in Champions League qualification matches. Even though Radovic is 29, and played for the Serbian youth ranks, he is Gorazde, BiH born and elgibile for the Bosnian senior national team. Radovic is an immensely experienced player with great speed and technique, and energy to spare for a player of his age. Radovic is definitely a useful player to come off of the bench to give the team a spark.
Ognjen Gnjatic (Rad) – DM
Ognjen Gnjatic is a 22 year-old, Bugojno born defensive midfielder. He plays for FK Rad in the Serbian SuperLiga. After playing for Bosnia’s U21 team, he has not been given an opportunity at the senior level. Even though he’s a talented player, he has only seen 779 minutes of action this season. Despite this, Susic would do well to keep tabs on this talented young destroyer.
Dzenis Kozica (20) is an exciting young Bosnian player, currently at IFK Varnamo in Sweden’s second flight, the Superettan. Kozica is currently linked with several clubs in Serie A and the Bundesliga. His superb speed and ball control makes him a powerful weapon for any club. He’s played an important role for his club, playing a ton of minutes at various positions for Varnamo, but primarily as a CF.
Dejan Janjatovic (St. Gallen) – CM/DM
Dejan Janjetovic is a 21 year-old starting central midfielder for Swiss side FC St. Gallen. Janjetovic came through the German youth ranks, before switching to Serbia to represent them at the U21 level.
This season, Janjatovic even at an early age, has started for St. Gallen, both in the league and in the Europa League, recording two goals and three assists in 1491 minutes of play. Janjatovic is a talented young player that could be a useful option for Bosnia’s national team for years to come. Aging Elvir Rahimic is certainly to retire after the World Cup, so the options at defensive midfield are not very fertile at the moment.
Semir Stilic (Gaziantepspor) – AMC
Semir Stilic is probably a name that many Bosnian fans will remember. He was previously part of the national team as bench player. Stilic is probably most famous for his long stint with Lech Poznan in Turkey, where he earned the adoration of the fans for his high quality starts and partnership with Robert Lewandowski. Semir’s career did not have the same trajectory as Lewy’s however. Stilic moved to Ukraine to play for Karpaty and most recently to Turkey to play for Gaziantepspor where he currently rides the bench. At 26 years-old, Stilic needs to play consistently in order to make it back into the national team fold. Susic has stated that he is keeping an eye on him, but if the player fails to earn respectable playing time, he will not be included in the roster any time soon.
Toni-Sven Susic (Hajduk Split) – DM/CM
Toni-Sven Susic is the son of the former Yugoslavia international Sead Susic, Safet Susic’s brother. Being the national team manager’s nephew could have it’s advantages as the player is currently a favorite to be included in the wider national team roster. In October, Toni-Sven has declared he wishes to represent Bosnia on the international level, despite being eligible for Belgium and Croatia. Toni-Sven Susic is currently the starting defensive midfielder for Hajduk Split in Croatia, playing a total of 1693 minutes so far this season. Toni-Sven possesses all of the attributes of a great central and defensive midfielder, and this quality is sure to impress Susic, along with his consistently good performances for Hajduk Split.
Jasmin Scuk (Mlada Boleslav) – DM/CM
Jasmin Scuk (23) is another player we had the opportunity to interview. This humble player has been crucial to his club this season. A tough, hard-working defensive midfielder, Scuk also has a nose for goal, scoring six times in 1265 minutes of play for Mlada Boleslav. Scuk is part of the Bosnian contingent in the Czech Republic, along with a number of other young talented players.
Scuk’s hardnosed style could be an asset to the senior national team.
Enis Nadarevic (Cesena) – LM/LW
Enis Nadarevic is a Bosnian winger on loan to Cesena from Genoa. Nadarevic has played the majority of his career in Serie B of Italy. For whatever reason, Nadarevic has not seen much action this season, only playing a total of 412 minutes for Cesena. For a while, this 26 year-old was an odds on favorite to make the senior team, even for the bench depth alone. However, his form has suffered in the last year, and it’s uncertain whether he is even part of Safet Susic’s wider potential player roster.
Srdjan Grahovac (Borac Banja Luka) – CM/DM/AMC
If any player is deserving of a promotion to the senior national team, it is Srdjan Grahovac. This 21 year old is the heart and soul of Vlado Jagodic’s Bosnian U21 side, earning 21 caps throughout the years, including a golazo against the Spaniards in the most recent campaign. On the club level, Grahovac plays for Borac Banja Luka, in Bosnia’s Premijer Liga, as the starting central midfielder. Grahovac is a tough player that doesn’t lose possession often, and possesses some real technical skill. A hard worker on the field, if anything, he has earned a friendly cap for Bosnia-Herzegovina to test out his capabilities.
Muamer Tankovic (Fulham) – ST/CF/AMC
Fulham’s young versatile striker Muamer Tankovic is one of the most promising young strikers in the Premier League and within Sweden’s youth system. Tankovic has a real nose for goals, scoring four times and assisting once in 600 minutes of play in the U21 Premier League in England. Tankovic is often compared to Wayne Rooney in terms of playing style. After recently playing against the Bosnian U21 team, and scoring twice, he apologized publically saying “I’m sorry, my country, it was only my job.” It’s still unclear whether or not Tankovic would represent Bosnia on the senior level, but Susic should keep his options open by at least enquiring about the player.
Branmir Hrgota (Borussia Monchengladbach) – ST/LW
Branimir Hrgota is Swedish footballer of Bosnian descent. Sound familiar? Well it should, considering one of the world’s premier players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic fits the same description. And while the Bosnian football federation missed the chance of a lifetime with Zlatan, there is still time with this Swedish gem.
Growing up in Sweden, Hrgota transferred from Jonkopings Sodra to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012. He is a natural attacking right-winger, but can also play as a striker or a left-attacking winger. The player possesses some real speed, technical flair, and ability to score.
With Sweden eliminated from qualifying for the World Cup, would Hrgota accept an invitation from either Susic or Kovac? There is no indication of any kind whether the player would accept or deny such an opportunity. The Bosnian media has been silent on the issue. Susic would do well to contact this player to at least enquire where he stands.
Bosnia need a third attacking option behind Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic. Hrgota’s speed could also be useful on the wings, or as potential depth in the roster.
Bahrudin Atajic (Celtic) – ST
Bahrudin Atajic is a 20 year-old striker for Celtic FC in Scotland’s Premiership. He has not gotten a full opportunity to play for the senior club team, although he starts with consistency for the youth team. Atajic has recently been called up to the Bosnian U21 team, citing a call-up to the senior team as his dream. Atajic is a mobile striker with flair and versatility, something that could give Susic’s side a different wrinkle and dimension.
Milan Djuric (Trapani) – ST
If there was ever a man Physically born to replace Edin Dzeko in the future, Milan Djuric is that man. Standing at an impeccable 6 foot 5 (an inch taller than Dzeko) Djuric is a defender’s worst nightmare when the ball is in the air.
In 2010 Serbia reached out to Djuric and offered him a spot on the Serbian team but Milan declined the offer and expressed his interest in playing for Bosnia.
In 2012 Djuric was called up to the Bosnia U-21 team and he came on as a sub in the 79th minute against, ironically, the Serbian U-21 team, he scored just 10 minutes later, that marked his first national goal. Djuric went on to have massive success for the U-21 team scoring 6 goals in 4 matches (1.5 goals per match!). Milan’s most impressive match came against Germany when he scored a hat trick (all headers) and assisted once in a 4-4 game.
Djuric will no doubt be an extremely useful asset for the senior team in the future. He’s one of the best attacking prospect Bosnia’s got and he can score goals in bunches. Perhaps the only problem with Djuric is the Language barrier, Milan only speaks Italian.
Boban Lazic (Ajax) – RW/ST
Boban Lazic recently found himself in a fire storm of media scrutiny and questioning after apparently declaring he would never play for Bosnia internationally, and then later declaring that the Serbian media had made the whole story up. Lazic has meanwhile spoken personally to Vlado Jagodic, the Bosnian U21 manager, and agreed to represent Bosnia on the U21 level, expressing his desire to one day represent the country on the senior national level.
Lazic is a 19 year-old right=winger, that has only played 348 minutes this season for Jong Ajax Amsterdam in the Jupiler League. Despite this, he remains a talent and potential player, who could come useful in the future.
Haris Tabakovic (Young Boys) – ST
Haris Tabakovic is a 19 year-old striker, currently playing for BSC Young Boys in Switzerland, along with the Swiss U21 team. He is one of the most promising young strikers in the country, and a gem within their youth system. Tabakovic is a towering (1,94) striker with real heading ability and a powerful shot. He has not gotten a real chance to play for the senior club side, but he has been prolific for the youth club side. Susic could utilize such a player as bench depth, after Dzeko and Ibisevic.
Eldin Adilovic (Samsunspor) – ST
Eldin Adilovic is a 27 year-old striker who plays for Turkish side Samsunspor. He was born in Zenica and has spent most of his playing career in the Premijer Liga and other Balkan first division leagues. Adilovic came to light after a very successful campaign with the U21 side, scoring 4 goals in 4 matches.
He was called up to the first team twice, but was never able to find the back of the net. Since then, Adilovic come back into the conversation after 2 prolific seasons with Zeljo, scoring 33 goals in 56 matches. As the World Cup approaches, Safet Susic will have to make a decision on who to call up as a 3rd choice striker and Adilovic certainly is in the race.
Ermin Zec (Genclerbirligi) – CF/ST/LW/RW
Ermin Zec was a staple of the national Bosnian football team, occupying the bench, just as Semir Stilic did around the same time. Since then, the striker has fallen off, and not received another bite at the cherry. Zec is a very fast and mobile player, but does not score often for his Genclerbirligi side in Turkey. During his time at Sibenik in Croatia, he was a prolific striker, even the best in the HNL at one point, thanks to the partnership Mehmed Alispahic.
Haris Vuckic (Newcastle) – AMC/ST/LW
Haris Vuckic’s name has been tossed around Bosnian media circles for years now. Vuckic is currently on loan to Rotherham United from Newcastle in the Premiership. This 21 year old has scored four times in five matches in the U21 Premier League this season. Vuckic has roots from Bosnia-Herzegovina, even though he was raised in Slovenia, and passed through all of the country’s youth ranks, even earning an eventual senior team call-up. However, he is still eligible for Bosnia since he was never played in a competitive fixture.
Aidin Mahmutovic (Teplice) – ST
Prior to an injury that has likely ended his season, Mahmutovic was a man on fire in the Gambrinus Liga in the Czech Republic. There were even rumors swirling that Mahmutovic would be offered Czech citizenship to be capped for their national team since the Bosnians had forgotten this man. Mahmutovic is a powerful striker with a nose for goal, an essential player for his Teplice side, Dzeko’s former club.
Zlatan Muslimovic (Guizhou Renhe) – ST
Zlatan Muslimovic is a 32 year-old starting striker for Guizhou Rehne (China). He was born in Banja Luka and is 6’2. He spent 8 years of his career in Serie A and Serie B before moving to Greek side PAOK and then joining Rehne after 3 years in Greece. The striker has also featured for the Bosnian national team 30 times and scored 12 goals.
He is a fan favorite at Rehne and the fans call him “Musi Li” which is the nickname derived from his surname. Recently, Safet Susic addressed the potential return of Muslimovic into the Bosnian national team, but the comments seemed to put that idea to bed. (Unfortunately for Muslimovic)
Eldin Hadzic (Hercules) – LW/CF/ST
Eldin Hadzic (22) currently starts for Spanish side Hercules. In 837 minutes, he’s scored four times, and assisted twice. Hadzic was born in Sarajevo, and declared he would love to play for the national team, even back in 2010. Hadzic is a talented and versatile player, with deceptive speed and excellent technique. He’s been a crucial player for Hercules this season, since gaining his work permit. Hadzic plays at a high level, for a side that is expected to be promoted to La Liga at the end of the campaign. Susic might want to consider Hadzic to give the attacking force a different dimension.
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