Now to steal a headline from a former colleague of mine (cheers Bowburn ), you could be forgiven for asking who the Vuckic Haris? It’s an understandable question really as the highly-rated 18-year-old has dropped off the radar a bit due to a persistent knee injury.
However, injury problems behind him, Haris is looking to make an impact next season. Perhaps now we can finally see why the likes of AC Milan and Manchester United have expressed an interest in the lad.
For me Vuckic has been inconsistent. Now that isn’t meant as a criticism at all as all young players go through it, but I’ve seen him go from anonymous against Accrington Stanley to class against Chelsea. The more games he plays the more chance he will be able to replicate that Chelsea performance.
He’s a big lad is Haris and stands at 6ft 3in already, and he still has time to grow! His preferred position is in the hole behind the strikers where he can pick a pass or create a chance. Perhaps there is an opportunity for him to learn his trade off Hatem Ben Arfa and Kevin Nolan? The style of Ben Arfa with the attacking threat of Nolan? That’ll do for me.
The title of this article is perhaps a bit harsh as it’s unfair to single out Vuckic and question whether or not he will make it. Put simply, he needs a chance to show us whether or not he can make the grade, as do the rest of our youth players.
It’s all well and good bringing through our own talent, but if they aren’t going to play then ultimately there is no real point in spending time and money on a youth academy or youth players. I realise that it’s early days in terms of our focus on youth, but as yet I’ve seen very little coming through from it.
Certain young players are clearly good enough from a very early age, but they only come along once in a while. Others have to work at their game and make do with chances when they come along. Even Alan Shearer was introduced slowly at Southampton, despite him scoring a hat-trick on his debut.
Part of the problem is that we are never really in a position to play any youth players unless it’s absolutely necessary or unless it’s a cup game. Given our history of early exits from cup competitions it’s hardly surprising that the young’uns don’t get much of a chance, and when they do, like they did against Arsenal, the manager will end up getting criticised for not fielding his strongest team.
Something has to give. It can’t work both ways.
So will Haris Vuckic make the grade? Who knows? Perhaps the most appropriate question should be will Haris Vuckic get the chance to make grade?
And that goes for the manager AND the fans! « Ex-star spotlight: Nolberto Solano | What are YOUR hopes for the summer? »