Dusan Tadic: The next Eredivisie-superstar?

After a few Europa League-matches against opponents of a relatively low stature, new FC Twente-player Dusan Tadic made his debut for FC Twente in the Eredivisie-match against former club FC Groningen and what was feared by those who were cheering him on for the last couple of years happened.

The Serbian winger humiliated his former club by scoring twice and supplying two assists in a 4-1 mauling of the Trots van het Noorden. He showed class by not celebrating his goals, but that was the only consolation he could give the FC Groningen-supporters. Dutch journalists raved over the performance of the 23-year old, saying this could be the emergence of a new Eredivisie-superstar. But Tadic has been a sensation from the very first time he kicked a ball in the Dutch league.

FC Groningen felt the signing was quite a coup in 2010. For a rumoured fee of around 1 million euros the gifted youngster (then 21) was transferred to the Eredivisie, beating off reported interest from Montpellier, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow amongst others. Technical manager Henk Veldmate stated he ‘was proud Tadic chose FC Groningen as his new club’, as he felt Tadic would really add to the quality and unpredictability of the side.

A first sign of things to come was shown when Dusan Tadic made his debut in Euroborg for FC Groningen. In a thriller of a match (2-2 draw after Ajax went 0-2 up) vice-World Champion Gregory van der couldn’t contain the dribbler, who showed his worth by delivering an assist for striker Tim Matavz. It would be the first of many. In his first season only Messi and Özil supplied more assists in the European competitions. Apart from the assists (22 in total) he also scored seven times. He was voted player of the year by the FC Groningen-supporters; testament to his incredible season.

Last season he wasn’t quite as effective, but in an utterly disappointing FC Groningen-side he still managed to get seven goals and nine assists. With FC Groningen finishing fourteenth in the Eredivisie, it was time for Dusan Tadic to move on. Steve McClaren’s FC Twente was decisive and paid over 7,5 million euros for the Serb.

Some were sceptical over the fee FC Twente paid, but few will argue they signed a quality player. Tadic has a left foot as good as any, is technically gifted and has proven himself to be somewhat of a trickster when given little space. And not only does he have the skills to get past his man, his ability to see space opening up and his awareness of the movement of his teammates make him a rather unpredictable, versatile player. His right-foot is rather weak and he isn’t blessed with top pace, but his acceleration is up to scratch and in an attacking side like FC Twente he’ll probably play quite close to the box, which should suit his game quite well.

The preview given in the Europa League-games (5 games, 2 goals and 3 assists) and in the first Eredivisie-game of the season already rectifies the, for Eredivisie-standards, hefty fee that has been paid for the winger. And with Belgian winger Nacer Chadli still at the club, FC Twente-fans must be drooling over the thought of watching the two creative wingers play together for a whole season. And when Tadic can maintain anything near the form he has kicked off his Twente-career with, it might just be restricted to one season.

 (Thank you Johnny Nicholson for reviewing the article, )

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