“Mirko Vucinic is a champion. When the ball comes to his feet anything can happen in any area of the field. He has almost supernatural technique.” After reading Roma general manager Walter Sabatini’s description of Mirko Vucinic, it is very difficult to understand why the club are considering selling the player this summer. Despite not being able to replicate his stellar 2009-10 season, the Montenegrin forward was still a key player for Roma last season. His 10 goals in 28 games helped the club pip Juventus to a place in the Europa League and he demonstrated his importance to the team with a last-minute winner against Inter early in the campaign and his talent with a wonderful solo goal against Chievo later in the season.
It is little wonder then, that suitors are forming an orderly queue. A good deal more confusing is the fact that Roma are seriously considering selling the player. In fact, after eulogising about Vucinic’s ability, Sabatini revealed that the player could well be leaving the club this summer, saying: “If Mirko is in the right frame of mind when he comes back, we will win many games. If not, he will be on the market.”
The main reason that has been given for Vucinic being unsettled at the club is a breakdown in his relationship with the fans. Towards the end of last season, the fans were growing more and more frustrated with Vucinic for what they saw as a marked lack of effort and desire. They had gone from eagerly awaiting the next spectacular match-winning goal from him to wondering when he was going to finally score one of the simple chances he was making a habit of missing. Clearly Vucinic relies heavily on the support of the fans, an idea backed up by Sabatini: “The affection of the fans is a psychological necessity for this player. The affection and esteem means much more to Vucinic than other players.”
Another interesting point to consider is where and how Vucinic would fit into the side under Luis Enrique. Enrique is a student of the Barcelona school of possession football and, while Vucinic’s talent is beyond doubt, he has a certain propensity to give the ball away cheaply. With new forward players high on Enrique’s transfer wish list, there is certainly a question over Vucinic’s place in Enrique’s plans. Could it be that Luis Enrique deems his occasional wastefulness in possession and inconsistency too high a price to pay for his talent?
While Enrique has remained silent on the subject of transfers, Sabatini has made it very clear that Vucinic is still wanted at Roma. Should he feel his relationship with the fans is beyond repair, a move to Juventus beckons. He has also reportedly been offered to a number of English clubs, but his agent has ruled out joining Blackburn Rovers, saying: “Blackburn? Mirko deserves a more prestigious club. Juventus are a prestigious club like Roma.” It seems that his future is far from settled, but wherever the mercurial Montenegrin ends up he will certainly be one to watch for next season.