If you look at the strikers that Roberto Mancini has at his disposal at Inter Milan, you’d think they’d be at the top end of Serie A and mounting a serious push for the title.
Yet, as they languish in fourth place with only the bragging rights over their rivals to cheer about, some Inter fans have been left disappointed by what they’ve seen from one striker in particular.
The man in question? Stevan Jovetic – who is on-loan at the San Siro on an 18-month deal from Manchester City. Whilst many forget that he is still a City player, he looks like he might be in limbo come the end of the season with his future at Inter Milan growing more unclear by the day.
Comments in the Italian press this week plunged the Montenegrin’s future into doubt, with the 26-year-old himself stating that “I haven’t come to sit on the bench”.
Inter have the chance to sign the striker at the end of the season for a sum of around €14.5m, but will they want to pay such a fee for a striker that has only wielded six goals in 23 league appearances? It’s yet to be seen, but his future at either club is well and truly up in the air.
Many City fans have been calling for another striker to be brought all season, with the reliance on Segio Aguero seemingly getting greater week-by-week. With Wilfried Bony failing to provide anything at all since signing from Swansea City a couple of years ago and Kelechi Iheanacho still finding his feet in the first team, City need more firepower upfront, so could Jovetic be an unlikely option?
He failed to set the Etihad alight during his first spell, but faced fierce competition from Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero, who all battling for the right to be City’s top striker. So could it be different this time round? If you want to be brutally honest, he’s struggled to find the form he discovered at Partizan Belgrade back in 2007/08, which earned him his move to Fiorentina. He scored 19 in 33 appearances that season and since then he’s had one solid campaign in Italy and has failed to fulfil his potential.
You can’t argue for the Montenegrin unfortunately. At Fiorentina, Manchester City and Inter Milan he’s been surrounded by quality but he seems to be outshone far too easily for a player that should be offering flair, trickery and goals.
Whilst he’s struggled to dislodge Mauro Icardi from the Inter Milan team all season, his market value has continued to drop. These should be the best years of Jovetic’s career, yet he seems to be stuck in an irreversible rut.
What seems clear is that his future may lie away from both Manchester City and Inter Milan in the near future with a club that can offer him a fresh start.
He had so much potential and perhaps he can rediscover that somewhere else, but as for a return to the Etihad? Don’t get your hopes up.