Sky Sports Scout - Matija Nastasic
We run the rule over Serbian starlet Matija Nastasic
By Sky Sports Scout - Tweet me: @skysportscout. Last Updated: September 13, 2012 5:13pm
Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.
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NAME: Matija Nastasic
AGE: 19 (28th March 1993)
BORN: Valjevo, Serbia
CLUB: Manchester City
FACTS: Made his Serbian debut aged just 18
Sky Sports Scout Ratings:
0-10 - No hoper
11-20 - Should look elsewhere
21-30 - Might not make it
31-40 - Has work to do
41-50 - Keep an eye on him
51-60 - Great prospect
61-70 - On his way to the top
71-80 - Already World-class
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Latest under our scout's gaze is new Manchester City starlet Matija Nastasic - recommended by Sky Sports reader Frank Moore.
The scout reports...
After Matija Nastasic finalised a deadline day switch to Manchester City, the scout checks on the Serbian youngster.
The 19-year-old central defender is regarded very highly, but unlike the man sent to Fiorentina in his place, Stefan Savic, Nastasic has already proved himself at the top level,
Savic moved to City from Partizan Belgrade in 2011 - Nastasic also moved from Partizan in the same year. But unlike Savic, Nastasic was never as highly regarded in Belgrade and never turned out for Partizan.
Now, somewhat ironically, the Partizan reject, rather than their former starlet, is the man who is catching the headlines.
Nastasic began playing with a private school before being picked up by local side ZSK and then FK Buducnost of Podgorica.
He was then spotted in a local regional match where scouts from Red Star and Partizan both invited him to Belgrade and he accepted the latter's offer.
He progressed through the ranks at Partizan and was soon spotted by the national coaches. He became captain of the Serbian Under-17 side in 2009 before taking on the same role with the Under-19s and then progressing to the Under-21s by 2011.
But despite impressing within the Serbian youth ranks, Nastasic could not make the breakthrough at Partizan and in early 2010 he was loaned out to FK Teleoptik - where he enjoyed his time.
After returning to Partizan in the summer of 2010, he again found himself surplus to requirements, partly due to the fact they had just brought in Savic. With that Nastasic returned to FK Teleoptik, but within months his form meant he was attracting interest from around Europe.
Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United - following a recommendation by his idol Nemanja Vidic - were all tracking him, but it was Fiorentina who struck a deal and they agreed he could remain with Teleoptik until the end of the season.
The summer of 2011 saw him make his big move to Florence, with the deal costing under £2million. He made his first start in November 2011 and never looked back, impressing many onlookers in Serie A.
Just months after his Fiorentina debut he was capped by Serbia - still only at the age of 18.
This summer again saw him linked to numerous clubs, but it was English champions Manchester City who decided to make their move and on deadline day they finalised a swoop which saw Savic move the other way in a deal worth £12million.
Many City fans are sceptical about replacing Savic with Nastasic and the two players are not dissimilar, but the Serb is clearly ahead in terms of their progress.
Likened to Vidic since he was in his early teens, Nastasic admits he has looked to the Manchester United captain as his role-model and his game is similar.
Vidic is more of a physical presence, but Nastasic is an aggressive and whole-hearted player who had good technique. Commanding in the air, strong in the tackle and with a good pass - Nastasic also reads the game well which saw him excel in Serie A last season.
The scout says...
A very good young centre-half but the pressure will be on to perform, although he does look better placed than the man he is replacing, Savic, to do the job.
Will see first-team action under Roberto Mancini, but City fans could be pleasantly surprised at just how assured Nastasic is.
The Scout rating...
Shooting: 6 out of 10
Passing: 7 out of 10
Tackling: 8 out of 10
Heading: 8 out of 10
Pace: 7 out of 10
Vision: 6 out of 10
Current ability: 7 out of 10
Potential ability: 10 out of 10
OVERALL SCOUT RATING:59/80
Current value: £10million
Potential value: £30million
You have read our opinion of Matija Nastasic - now we want your views. Have you seen Nastasic in action? Do you agree with our assessment? Do you think he will make it?
Get in touch, either using the form below, email or the scout's Twitter feed - @skysportsscout
And if you have spotted anyone you think we should feature then please get in touch using the same form. We will look to send out the Scout to follow up your leads.