Could Joško Gvardiol Become Croatia’s Most Expensive Footballer?

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Slobodan Kadic
Slobodan Kadic

Joško Gvardiol may only be 20 years old, but he has already played at the top level of football for two seasons. After showing tremendous talent in the Dinamo jersey, the Zagreb native was transferred to RB Leipzig for 16.5 million euros in 2020 and found his spot in the starting lineup in his first season. reveals that Gvardiol is the target of many European giants at the moment, but only a few can afford him. The Croatian stopper is currently worth 35 million euros, according to Transfermarkt, but his actual price is much higher. A possible transfer could go over 50 million euros, making him the most expensive Croatian footballer in history.

The future is still unknown, and the summer transfer window continues. Big names are at his door, but Leipzig is a tough negotiator, and the German club is serious about keeping the Bundesliga’s best stopper.

According to Sky Sports, three English giants have sent inquiries for the Croatia national team player, and allegedly Tottenham has opened negotiations, but Manchester United and Chelsea want him in their ranks, too. 

A transfer to all three clubs is quite realistic, and Gvardiol would likely find a place in the starting 11 quickly. Moreover, if there are no injuries, he is also guaranteed a spot in Croatia’s starting lineup at the World Cup in Qatar later this year, which is always enticing news for clubs. 

Chelsea is cited as a very likely destination for the Croatian youngster. The English club recently failed to transfer Kounde, who chose Barcelona, so now the owners are considering Kimpembe, Skriniar, or Gvardiol. The Croatian stopper has a bigger advantage here because he is younger than the French and the Slovak footballers. 

By going to Tottenham, Gvardoil would play with Ivan Perišić. At the same time, Mateo Kovačić awaits him at Chelsea. And by transferring to the famous United, he would become the first Croatian in history to wear the Red Devils jersey.

In April, Gvardiol was named the 4th best young footballer under 21 in Europe, according to the International Center for Sports Studies (CIES).

Gvardiol took an admirable fourth place in the survey of 100 players as the ‘ground blocker playmaker.’ Ahead of him was only Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwodd, and Patrick Wimmer of Arminia Bielefeld.

The three factors that were considered when ranking players were their performance in relation to teammates, the results of their club, and the quality of opponents. The CIES states that for each of the 100 best young players in Europe, they highlighted two categories of technical skills in which, based on statistics, they are the best out of 11.

Thus, Saka was marked as a dribbler and creator of chances, while Gvardiol’s defense and ball distribution was emphasized, confirming the epithet of a modern stopper. Gvardiol also played the most minutes for his team out of the 20 best young footballers, with 86.8% of all available minutes for Leipzig.

In 2021, Gvardiol was also up for the Golden Boy award, traditionally held by Turin’s Tuttosport and editor Massimo Franchi who compiles a list of the most outstanding young footballers worldwide. 

The young footballer has already proved himself in his short but impressive career so far, and he is only getting started. 

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