Luka Jovic enjoyed two defining years in a blossoming career with Eintracht Frankfurt. Having opted to take his talents to Spain, the Serbian now has the chance to be a defining figure in Real Madrid's rebuild.
In Luka Jovic's deal to join Real Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt, everyone is a winner.
Irrespective of their fairytale season and the resulting financial windfall, Frankfurt knew they weren't going to be able to turn down a big-money offer.
"From a sporting point of view Luka Jovic is a great loss for us," said Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic. "But we obviously knew in this case that every player has their price."
Having pursued Jovic since his Red Star Belgrade days, Bobic deserves great credit for producing, arguably, the best piece of business the Bundesliga has seen since Shinji Kagawa joined Borussia Dortmund.
Just as he did with the Serbia international's two-year loan from Benfica, the 47-year-old squeezed maximum value out of Real Madrid, where his eye for goal is only going to get sharper.
"It is an important piece of transfer business for Eintracht Frankfurt, and a good one as well. We wish Luka all the very best for the future. He has got everything he needs to have a wonderful career, and we're proud to have been able to help and support him on his way."
More than a Benzema back-up
In 2018/19, only Robert Lewandowski (23) and Paco Alcacer (18) could top Jovic's 17-goal haul in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, in Frankfurt's thrilling Europa League run, his ten goals were scored at a clip of 95 minutes per goal and only bettered by Olivier Giroud's 11 for Chelsea, who knocked the Eagles out in the semifinals en route to lifting the title in Baku.
Frankfurt have profited from Jovic's stock skyrocketing on the back of a breakout season. Nevertheless, in the current market, Real Madrid's deal to sign the 21-year-old on a six-year deal could still prove to be prudent, even at a reported €65 million.
Luka Jovic scored 10 goals as Eintracht Frankfurt reached their first European semifinal since 1980.
The last time Real Madrid splashed the cash on a marquee young striker, a 21-year-old Karim Benzema went on to amass a trophy collection that would be the envy of Europe's elite. The Frenchman has left big footsteps to follow in for the sixth-most expensive signing in Los Blancos' history, but Jovic and those who have shaped his career have never been short on confidence.
"Frankfurt have been a spring board to catapult his career in Europe. I don't think it's too early to consider a step up to a big club," Tomislav Milicevic, the youth trainer who first spotted Jovic's talent at Red Star Belgrade, told BILD.
Privately he's very calm, but on the pitch he's a tiger who wants to achieve everything. For me, he's like Gerd Müller: he only wanted to score goals, nothing else interested him."
An elite finisher
From a cheeky heel flick from a near-post corner against Schalke to his stunning acrobatic effort as part of a five-goal haul against Fortuna Düsseldorf, Jovic's natural finishing ability is irrefutable. There are insitincts at play that can't be taught.
Yet the four-time Serbia international himself admitted that the Bundesliga wasn't the best fit for him. "Teams press high and run a lot in the Bundesliga," he told Die Welt. "After my experiences in the Europa League this season, I would say that other leagues in Europe suit me better."
Jovic is now set to take his considerable talents to Spain where his innate ability to find the back of the net will be refined and complimented by an upgrade in service from Zinedine Zidane's star-studded squad.
With Madrid looking for a long-term Benzema replacement and expectations low following a season to forget, the deal seems to have come at a perfect time for Jovic. Now he has the chance to forge a path as a defining figure in Real's rebuild as the club look to restore faith.
The striker once told his dad, Milan: "I believe I can earn millions, but I'd also play football for €10." The move to Madrid has already fulfilled that prophecy and, yet, it still seems as if the surface of one of the most-promising careers in modern football has only just been scratched.