Eintracht Frankfurt goalscorer Luka Jovic (l.) has been compared to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez (r.) by Serbia national team coach Mladen Krstajic. - © Getty
Eintracht Frankfurt goalscorer Luka Jovic (l.) has been compared to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez (r.) by Serbia national team coach Mladen Krstajic. - © Getty

“Luka Jovic is like Luis Suarez” – Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic


Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic has compared Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, praising his young star for his rapid rise and the way he creates his goals.

“He’s a classic goal-getter with great control of the ball and a good understanding of the game. I’d probably compare him to Luis Suarez,” Krstajic stated in an interview with T-Online. “He’s courageous and dangerous at any moment because he’s always lying in wait for his chance or any inattention from the opponent.

“He sometimes appears impassive or lacklustre, but that’s even more deceptive for defenders and makes him even more of a threat,” Jovic’s national team boss explained after including the 21-year-old in his squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Germany in Wolfsburg.

Striker Jovic is yet to score in his three senior Serbia appearances to date but has shown himself to be prolific in front of goal for his club this season with 15 goals in 24 league appearances for Frankfurt.

Watch: All of Luka Jovic's Bundesliga goals so far

Sitting joint-second in the Bundesliga’s scoring chart, the on-loan Benfica forward has netted an additional seven goals in the UEFA Europa League in 2018/19, including the winner in the round of 16 tie against Inter Milan.

The 21-year-old has now scored 23 goals in 46 Bundesliga games since arriving in summer 2017, and Krstajic, who was part of Werder Bremen’s double-winning side of 2004 as well as Schalke captain, has claimed, “Jovic has adapted to football in the Bundesliga much quicker than many probably expected.”

Jovic, however, isn’t the only player Krstajic has his eye on in the German top flight. The 21-year-old’s Frankfurt teammates Filip Kostic and Mijat Gacinovic are also in the Serbia squad to face Die Mannschaft and later Portugal in their first UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier.

“You can’t forget Gacinovic and Kostic, they’ve also played their part in Eintracht’s rise. They [Kostic, Gacinovic and Jovic] are all showing that three footballers from the Balkans can get along together in a team, even with Croatia’s Ante Rebic,” Krstajic joked.

Mijat Gacinovic, Ante Rebic, Luka Jovic and Filip Kostic (l-r.) have formed a close-knit unit within the Eintracht Frankfurt team. - imago/Jan Huebner

He did, however, add on a more serious note, “He needs to continue this amazing development. I hope he maintains this great form because that’s crucial for me.”

As it is for his club boss Adi Hütter, who will no doubt look to his young striker as Frankfurt maintain their push for UEFA Champions League qualification in the Bundesliga and also European silverware as they take on Benfica, Jovic’s parent club, in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.