Kevin-Prince Boateng has tipped Eintracht Frankfurt's league-leading scorer Luka Jovic to follow in the footsteps of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli and Robbie Keane, and "become a world-class striker."
Jovic boasts a Bundesliga-high nine goals from as many top-flight appearances this season, putting the Serbia international clear of a chasing pack that includes Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund duo Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer, and Borussia Mönchengladbach's Alassane Plea in the race for the 2018/19 Torjägerkanone.
He joined Lewandowski in netting five goals in a single Bundesliga game — becoming only the third foreign-born player to do so — when he helped Frankfurt to a 7-1 win over Düsseldorf on Matchday 8, one of six league victories this season that have earmarked the Eagles as genuine contenders for a top-four finish.
Watch: Luka Jovic scores five as Frankfurt run amok against Düsseldorf
After sharing a dressing room with Ibrahimovic and Balotelli at AC Milan, and Keane at Tottenham Hotspur, Boateng, who played alongside Jovic in Germany's financial capital last season, told SportBild his 20-year-old former teammate has the potential to join the pantheon of the planet's great goalgetters.
'Everything a striker needs'
"There's criticism that you only see Luka Jovic once a week, on a Saturday. I have seen him every day and so can say he can become a world-class striker, because he has everything required for that," explained Boateng, who joined Italian club Sassuolo last summer.
"You can see it in training: he has football in his genes, he's a street footballer, and he has a nose for goal. He scores with his head, his right or his left. He has technique, a powerful shot with both feet. He simply has everything a striker needs."
Jovic's goals and his fruitful partnership with Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller have been fundamental to Frankfurt's flying start to the season. Adi Hütter's men in fourth are just three points behind second-placed Mönchengladbach, and find themselves ahead of Bayern, now coached by their former boss Niko Kovac.
Kovac's last game in charge of Frankfurt saw him mastermind a surprise DFB Cup final win at Bayern's expense last May, and Boateng sees the roots of the club's success this season in the work carried out by the former Croatia boss last term.
"I think we created a kind of euphoria last season under Niko Kovac with aggressive, intense football that would later become more attractive. They have built on that and are playing even better now. Everything is going for them right now.
"Every Frankfurt fan goes through the city with a smile on their face," explained Boateng — half-brother of Bayern's Jerome — before tipping his ex-boss to get the record Bundesliga champions back in their dominant groove before long.
"Bayern will get back at it, either right now or after the winter break at the latest. Niko will be a success, I have 100 per cent faith in him."