Developed at La Masia and raised according the Barca philosophy, Bojan Krkic has broken records, amassing over 900 goals during his time with Barcelona’s various youth teams. Yet the Blaugrana starlet is nothing more than an enigma nowadays as Cataluña wonders what happens to the boy obsessed with hitting the ball into the back of the net who is making his way to Roma in a deal rumoured to be worth €10m.
Frank Rijkaard once said: “Bojan makes us happy, because he is another great talent that comes from our youth team.” Admired for his ability and once expected to be the figurehead of the upcoming generation, Krkic has created endless problems for Pep Guardiola who struggled to incorporate the youngster within the side. Boasting a range of skills, the one question no one can answer is where can Bojan play?
Played as a central striker and tasked with leading the line, he has struggled to put in performances deemed worthy enough to be depended upon in Lionel Messi’s absence. Physically frail and easily pushed off the ball, the player often finds it difficult to penetrate defences, whilst his inability to apply pressure on the defence and his reluctance to offer solutions to those midfielders looking to deliver a perfect pass renders him inept.
Deployed on the left of an attacking trident, the player lacked the aggressive nature, technical skill and stunning pace necessary to create space and stretch the defence for a side like Barca. Considering the competition, it is easy to understand why Guardiola seemingly mistrusted the starlet. The problem with Bojan is he possesses the incredible ability to score incessantly, he does little else in order to help the team. It comes as no surprise then to learn Bojan’s greatest season has been Barca’s worst in the last few years.
Too good to sit on the bench and too weak to become a vital cog of the best team in the world, Krkic appears to be the type of player who would thrive in a team built around his skill – one in which he was the focal point. Placed in a team full of stars and asked to adapt his skills to serve the greater good of the squad has seen him struggle leading to an apparent mental break-down. Evidently unable to cope with such little confidence, the player walked around Barcelona with a perpetual cloud hanging over his head whilst his teammates celebrated endless victories. Such is the weight of unfulfilled potential hanging over him, the natural goal-scorer who broke records in the Barca youth team began to miss even the easiest of sitters. Reminiscent of Sebastian Giovinco, the player may never succeed in an atmosphere that will demand an attitude capable of dealing with fierce competition and a willingness to continually develop and grow in whatever role the Coach deems fit.
The good news is at Roma, Luis Enrique may have a player who understands the philosophy he is looking to introduce to his new club. Possessing a range of skills that may help facilitate the realisation of Enrique’s tactics, Bojan has the agility, passing range and vision necessary to implement a creative and skilful attack. In Enrique, Bojan could find a Coach enamoured with the concept of developing youth and a liberating environment void of constant pressure to amass consecutive wins, but one still ambitious enough to develop a winning project. The Coach’s dependence on the Barca skills taught to the youngster since childhood may prove necessary and thus should guarantee him a lot more minutes. With more faith and a little continuity, confidence could be restored to provide a stable environment for Bojan to mature. A union based on dependence – the fans will hope it will be one that bears fruit.