He's been likened to Arjen Robben and almost single handedly saved Wolfsburg from relegation last season - but what else is there to know about Croatian winger Josip Brekalo? bundesliga.com finds out...

Josip Brekalo

Age: 20
Position: Winger
Club: Wolfsburg
Country: Croatia (U21s)

Key stats

Brekalo began his first full season of Bundesliga football on loan with VfB Stuttgart, scoring his first of four top-flight goals to date in a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. He was recalled by parent club Wolfsburg during the winter break, however, and it's probably just as well. After netting a crucial goal in the 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Mainz in February, the 66-time Croatia youth international's final-day brilliance - another goal and assist - gave the Wolves the result they needed to salvage a place in the relegation play-offs. The 5'9" wide man duly added to his tally in the first of two legs against Bundesliga 2 side Holstein Kiel as the 2009 Bundesliga champions avoided the drop by the skin of their teeth.

Josip Brekalo (c.) has registered four goals and two assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances to date. © gettyimages / Alexander Scheuber

Plays a bit like: Alexis Sanchez

Brekalo's lightning-fast work cutting in from the flanks has earned him the nickname of 'the Croatian Arjen Robben'. He can really strike the ball, too, but unlike Bayern Munich's Flying Dutchman, is naturally right footed. That, plus his iron set of lungs, put him more in the Alexis Sanchez bracket.

Did you know?

Brekalo is a product of the same Dinamo Zagreb youth academy that unleashed Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric and Real Madrid's Luka Modric, among others, on the world. He made 11 appearances for Dinamo's first team, before moving to Wolfsburg in summer 2016, aged 18.

Watch: Josip Brekalo's relegation-dodging heroics on Matchday 34

What they're saying

"It's not been easy for him here, but now everyone can see what he's capable of." - Bruno Labbadia (Wolfsburg head coach)

"He would have become a brilliant runner if he had continued with athletics." - Slavko Petrovic (Brekalo's former athletics coach)

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