Ante Coric is one of the most highly rated players of the new Croatian generation. Formed at Dinamo Zagreb, the 19 years old prove to be a premature talent being now on the third season with the main team. At debut year he made 33 appearances, and last year 41. This shows his importance to the coach Zoran Mamic. The young midfielder has not always been part of the starting team in the beginning of this season, but he played 16 games so far. His potential took him to Croatia national team, gaining the call for EURO 2016. Despite not having played any minute, he’s one of the biggest hopes for the future.
Coric didn’t performed well against Lokomotiva Zagreb and was replaced at half time. In fact, the level he’s showing in 2016/17 doesn’t correspond to what he’s capable of. Anyway, he’s a youngster and high expectations don’t favour him. There are no doubts that Coric has a huge talent: he unbalances the opponent with his ability to think and execute with speedness and has a decision profile well above the average. A pure creative. However, he needs to gain consistency in his game, in order to reveal his skills in a more regular way. We must wait to see if Ivaylo Petev, Dinamo’s new coach, is the right person to make him evolve.
Dinamo started the derby against Lokomotiva Zagreb in a 1-4-3-3 shape, with Coric occupying the left wing of the attack. Far from being a winger, the young talent frequently searched for central spaces, demanding the ball between the lines of the opponent. His creativity can make the difference when he receives the ball in that areas of the field, but Dinamo struggled to connect the construction phase to creation.
Coric was responsible for providing width to the left side. His positioning served to create doubts in the defense of Lokomotiva and open more space to Dinamo’s midfielders. When the ball reached his feet, he departed from the wing to the middle, trying to unbalance the opponent through speedy conduction.
Positional switches between Coric and Fiolic were a constant in this game. From 25 minutes on, the coach Zeljko Sopic seeked for alternatives to combat his team’s weak performance and made a change: Coric moved to the middle and Fiolic was placed on the left wing. Contrary to expectations, Dinamo remained harmless to Lokomotiva’s defense.
In some cases, Coric moved back on the field to take a more active role on team’s construction. It was a way to be more at the center of the game, adding vision and some imagination to the midfield. However, he wasn’t always able to make good decisions.
Momentarily, the youngster appeared on the right. It was on that side that he had its best initiative in the game, showing good skills to surpass the defender.
Coric always fulfilled his defensive duties on the left, controlling Lokomotiva’s right full back. His opponent came forward when his team started to build, forcing Coric to move back almost to the line of defensive midfielder (Paulo Machado). The home team never managed to find space on that side.
After the exchange with Fiolic, Coric kept a good defensive behavior. He occupied the spaces in a very clever way, preventing Lokomotiva to progress to the center, pressing with aggressiveness. Despite being a player with an offensive profile, he puts the interests of collective above the personal notoriety.