Stevan Jovetic: Analysing Arsenal, Manchester City Striking Target

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMarch 25, 2013

Stevan Jovetic is a wanted man, and The Metro have continued the trend of linking the Fiorentina star to top English Premier League clubs in Arsenal and Manchester City.

The links between Roberto Mancini and Jovetic are longstanding, and many believed the upcoming summer to be one in which the Montengrin finally leaves the Artemio Franchi.

But this season under Vincenzo Montella has been nothing but a success, and the building blocks placed for a bright future in Florence may have Jovetic hanging around a little longer.

At the very least it will up his fee, as with him in the side, Montella will believe the Viola can challenge for the Serie A title and impact the UEFA Champions League—and rightly so.

Jovetic is the talisman in the system and, at just 23 years of age, can already be considered a world-class player.

He's developed his game rapidly over the last 12 months, moving from an attacking midfielder of sorts to an all-round forward capable of playing as many positions and roles as we have fingers.

Consider the fact that he missed the entire 2010-11 season with a cruciate knee injury and you cannot help but be impressed by the man's rapid ascension to football's elite.

He plays one of two different roles Montella has set out for him this season with regularity, and Fiorentina's recent flirtation with the 4-3-3 formation added a possible third.

For the large part, the Viola have operated in a 3-5-1-1 system that averages high-ball possession and excellent transitions across the field.

David Pizarro—the prototypical midfield metronome—teams up with Alberto Aquilani and Borja Valero extremely well to feed Montella's attacking players with regularity.

The front two changes depending on opposition, with Jovetic as the prima punta ahead of Adem Ljajic or Jovetic dropping into the hole behind target man Luca Toni.

The Montenegrin's understanding of the game is immense and clearly favours the freedom to drop in and out of the line and torment different defenders at different times, but Montella knows his strongest combination is the Ljajic-Jovetic connection.

This means the star man plays as a No. 9 but drifts wide and interchanges with Ljajic, who often plays from the left side and penetrates the box at will. With Juan Guillermo Cuadrado at right-wing-back, Ljajic's favouring of the left does not imbalance the Viola.

Jovetic is man who is just natural height and strength short of the "complete forward" label, and his ability to score thunderbolts from outside the area make his intricate dribbling and passing around the edge of the area even more lethal.

In the current market, Jovetic is worth £30 million (€35.22 million). That's a lot, but players of his calibre cost a lot. Unfortunately for City and Arsenal, such is the Viola's fantastic season, Jovetic may not even want to jump ship for one more year.