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WORLD CUP 2018: How Croatia whizkid Rebic could show up England

What's a World Cup without a breakout star? Back in 2014 the likes of James Rodriguez, Keylor Navas and Marcos Rojo all earned big money moves off the back of their stellar performances for their respective national teams. This year's tournament isn't any different as reputable clubs have already began to keep tabs on some of the 2018 World Cup's lesser-known, yet outstanding players such as Croatia's Ante Rebic.

Croatia aren't what you'd describe as a star studded team, but they do have quality within their ranks. Going into the tournament their key men were expected to be Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric, but who would have thought that Rebic would prove to be an influential figure for Zlatko Dalic's side.

The Eintracht Frankfurt winger has found the back of the net on one occasion in his three starts for Croatia in the tournament. One goal in five World Cup appearances might not seem like a huge achievement on the surface, but his displays of resilience and skill for his country have brought him to the limelight.

His lone goal for Croatia at the 2018 World Cup came in his side's 3-0 victory over Argentina, a game in which Rebic displayed his attacking masterclass, often running at Argentina's defence and forcing them into making mistakes.



Style of Play

Despite being a left-winger, Rebic is capable of featuring anywhere across the attacking third, although, centre-forward is probably his weakest position in the forward line due to his below average hold up play.

He's an excellent dribbler of the ball, capable of finding his way past players in 1v1 situations thanks to his ability and balance. He relies on intelligent movements to get himself in attacking situations as he does not possess blistering pace, that being said, he's not slow either.

A combination of his strength and balance make him a hard man to win the ball from, hence he gets fouled often with opposition players usually opting to tackle him after failed attempts at pushing him off the ball.



Strengths and Weaknesses

Despite being great at getting himself into the right positions to score, Rebic's finishing tends to let him down as evidenced by his miss in the second-half of Croatia's group game against Argentina, thus his goal tallies across the clubs he has played for thus far haven't been anything spectacular. Rebic's composure in big games is one of his biggest strength's, though.

He played a major role in Frankfurt's surprise win over Bayern in the DFB Pokal final, as he bagged a brace to lead his side to a 3-1 victory over the Bavarian giants.

Rebic had also scored in the 2017 DFB Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund, thus proving his ability to step up in big occasions.



Suitors

Rebic currently plies his trade for Bundesliga side Frankfurt, where he bagged nine goals and three assists in all competitions . He seems likely to move to a bigger club this summer considering his current status as a key man for Croatia.

Bayern Munich are said to be interested in the 24-year-old. A move to Bayern would make sense with his former Frankfurt boss Nico Kovacs now at the helm in the Allianz Arena.

Everton also appear to be keen on acquiring his services in a bid to bolster their attacking options for next season with the club likely to be aiming for an Europa League finish once the season gets underway.

Phillip Ekuwem
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Phillip Ekuwem

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