Thursday, 15 July 2010


With Mario Mandzukic on the brink of a switch to Wolfsburg Dinamo Zagreb's hope of a strong European campaign have suddenly weakened. Can Dinamo find a replacement from within? Arguably it looks doubtful that Miroslav Slepicka, Ilija Sivonjic, Andrej Kramaric and especially Dodo can have a meaningful impact in front of goal. In fact Velimir Zajec has already stated that he does not see another killer goalscorer in the club. In Zajec's new 4-3-3 formation Kramaric, Slepicka and Sivonjic will feel confident of fill the deep lying forward roles. Slepicka has an excellant assists record and played in such a position at Sparta Prague, whilst Sivonjic had success playing from right midfield. Taking on the responsibility of 15-18 goal a year scorer is a different story however. Andrej Kramaric will doubtless be prepared to give the role a try. However he will need to impress quickly and is currently away on Croatian Under 19 duty. HRV Soccer looks at who Dinamo could turn to as Mario Mandzukic's successor.


Having spent his youth career being dragged from one ambitious team to another, Ajax's Darko Bodul is keen to gain first team football and make an impression. The 20 year old Austrian Croat is a player who could come good should Dinamo take a gamble on him. He is quick, skillful and has good pace. Bodul spent last season on loan at Sparta Rotterdam, but is now back in Amsterdam who are looking for a new club to transfer him to.


Ivan Bosnjak was already being linked with a return to Dinamo Zagreb, before Mario Mandzukic looked to be moving abroad. However his arrival would make sense should Dinamo wish to buy time for young Andrej Kramaric. Bosnjak was a star in his previous spell at Dinamo, but at 31 will not be the same energetic player having suffered injury at Racing Genk. Bosnjak also took four months away from the game after being released by Irakilis. Dinamo will find him of use in HNL1 however and they may need experience to help guide young Kramaric so such a player as Bosnjak could help him.


One player already known to be on the radar of Velimir Zajec is Ante Rukavina at his former club Panathanaikos. Zajec may enquire as to the availability of the player who was once at target for Dinamo, but signed with rivals Hajduk Split. Rukavina, looks however to still have a future in Greece so signing him could prove difficult and expensive. Rukavina has 7 goals in 14 games as a Croatian Under 21 player and 11 in 54 with Panathanaikos.


A player who would be within Dinamo's financial remit is Bojan Vrucina who transferred from Slaven Belupo to Hapoel Tel Aviv only in January. Vrucina had an impressive 2008/09 season at Belupo scoring 18 goals in 33 games, but was injured for much of last season. It is expected Hapoel will be patient with him, but may be tempted to sell should Dinamo bid on the player who is only likely to cost 500,000 Euro's. Vrucina is similar is playing style to Mandzukic with good dribbling skills and with an eye for goal.