"Here comes Mijat, boys!" Adi Hütter's Eintracht Frankfurt have the makings of something very special in Balkan quartet Luka Jovic (l.), Filip Kostic (c.), Ante Rebic (r.) and Mijat Gacinovic (not pictured). - © gettyimages / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images
"Here comes Mijat, boys!" Adi Hütter's Eintracht Frankfurt have the makings of something very special in Balkan quartet Luka Jovic (l.), Filip Kostic (c.), Ante Rebic (r.) and Mijat Gacinovic (not pictured). - © gettyimages / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images
Bundesliga

Ante Rebic, Filip Kostic, Luka Jovic and Mijat Gacinovic: Eintracht Frankfurt's Slavic connection

FIFA World Cup finalist and DFB Cup hero Ante Rebic has returned to action and is back among the goals for Eintracht Frankfurt, while the Serbian trio of Filip Kostic, Luka Jovic and Mijat Gacinovic have also helped the Eagles take flight.

bundesliga.com examines how a quality quartet from the Balkans has helped Adi Hütter's side find their wings since mid-September.

There is little doubt Rebic, who made such a strong impression last season, changes games and teams. There is a Frankfurt with the Croatia international, and one — less successful — without.

Three points came from the opening three matches of the season as Rebic worked his way back to fitness following his summer exertions in Russia; seven points have followed in four games since his return — as well as a goal for the 25-year-old former Fiorentina man in each of his last three league appearances — to ease the worries of Frankfurt fans.

Watch: Ante Rebic did the damage in Frankfurt's 2-1 win at Hoffenheim on Matchday 7

The pride they felt in seeing their rising star shine en route to a World Cup runners-up medal must have been tinged by concern, too. The fears Rebic and/or the club would cash in on his newly elevated status faded when he announced in August that, thanks in large part to the club's passionate following, he had decided to extend his contract through to 2022, shunning suitors who had been attracted to the qualities that have made him key to Frankfurt.

"He lines up willingly on the left, where he can cut inside. He can play up front on his own or play with two strikers," explained Eintracht boss Hütter. "His drive, pace and presence make him an important player for my system."

Having lost the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Lukas Hradecky over the close season, keeping hold of Rebic was an excellent piece of business, and the impact he has had on the side since making his 2018/19 Bundesliga bow suggests he is ready to repay the faith shown in him.

Serbian trio Kostic, Jovic and Gacinovic — the latter two of whom were knocked out with their country in the group stage in Russia — must have watched on enviously as Rebic prolonged his adventure and postponed his summer holidays.

The roles were reversed at club level as the season began, though, and the three have helped carry the burden.

- © gettyimages / Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Hütter has stressed that 60-70 percent of goals in modern football are scored in the five-seven seconds after the ball has been won back. The goal that made it 2-1 against Lazio was a direct result of his side's high press. Haller rode a tackle on the right, Gacinovic profited from a disorganised defence, and Kostic delivered the coup de grace.

Eintracht's number 10 wasn't done there, as he was hauled down by compatriot Dusan Basta to leave Lazio a man down before half-time.

Jovic followed up in the second half with a glorious chipped finish – adding to the winning goal he had got on Matchday 1 in Marseille. It proved part of a perfect week for the striker, who is on loan from Benfica. Before the Lazio game, he came off the bench to score in a 4-1 win over Hannover. After it, he set up the first goal and got the clinching second in a 2-1 success at Hoffenheim — set up by Kostic — after Jovic himself had teed up Rebic for the opener.

"There are players who need relatively few scoring chances," Hütter said after the most recent game. "Luka Jovic, for example, scores four times out of every five chances because he's a poacher and, when he's in the box, he knows where the goal is."

The 20-year-old had already shown plenty of potential last term. Jovic made only nine starts in the league but netted eight times during his first season in Frankfurt, and also got a memorable back-heeled winner against Schalke in the 2017/18 DFB Cup semi-final.

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