Whatever happend to Zoran Tošić?

June 18, 2009 Tags: Opinion 18 comments

Anybody who caught Zoran Tošić’s lively display for Serbia under-21s against the Italian equivalent Tuesday night might wonder where Sir Alex Ferguson has been hiding the boy all these months. Tosic, who was signed from Partizan Belgrade with teammate Adem Ljajic in a £17 million joint deal last January, came to United with a glowing reputation as one of the best young wide players in Europe. But in the interviening months the left-winger has played just three times in the United first team. He came off the bench against Tottenham in the FA Cup, and then again against West Bromich Albion and Hull City in the Premiership. In truth though Tošić has spent most of his time in the reserves in what has hardly been an auspicious start to his United career.

But there is hope for the boy, who played in both central and wide-left attacking positions against Italy at the European Under-21 Championships. Some strong performances for Serbia Under-21s, a good pre-season tour to Asia, together with United’s current weakness in the left flank area, could thrust Tošić into the first team spotlight come the opening match of the season on August 15.

While there will be much talk of bringing in high profile reinforcements following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, it seems that United are unlikely to recruit at the top end of the market. Indeed Franck Ribéry is much more likely to end up at Chelsea or Madrid this summer. Meanwhile, the other reported target, Valencia’s David Silva, is known to be a target of both Madrid and Liverpool.

As such Tošić is likely to compete with Nani for a left-sided spot, unless Sir Alex Ferguson continues with the failed policy of deploying Wayne Rooney on the left-wing. It’s a problem area for United, with Ryan Giggs, Ji-Sung Park, Nani, Rooney and Ronaldo, having all played there at some point in the last season. However, with Ronaldo gone, Ji-Sung Park embarrassed in the Champions League Final, Giggs nearly 35 and Nani out of form for what seems like the best part of a year, Ferguson needs a solution. Could Tošić provide it?

Being generous, Tošić is allowed a period of adaptation to both United’s training methods, tactics and English football in general. He is also known to have been given a strength building regime, to build muscle size and bulk in readiness for the hurly-burly of the Premier League. However, his lack of minutes on the pitch is worrying. The Premier Reserve League is nothing more than a glorified youth competition these days, and Tošić’s time playing for the reserves will have contributed little to his understanding of English football. Even after six months in England, Tošić may well need a further period of adaptation in the coming season. The question is, with no left-sided acquisitions, can Fergie afford it?


Billy Kim - June 19, 2009 Reply

Ji-Sung Park is the BEST player in the world.
Do not compare w/ nani and tosic

Eunice Song - June 19, 2009 Reply

I agree with Billy Kim

Mooney - June 19, 2009 Reply

On the Champions League Final, most ManU player were embarrassed. not olny Park.

I just think Park will be right-wing player, and Tosic or Nani can compete for left-wing player.

Chae - June 19, 2009 Reply

I agree with Eunice Song

Ed - June 19, 2009 Reply

I didn’t know so many Park fans read the site! I like Park, he’s got loads of energy and there’s always 100% effort for the team. He’s is a good squad player. But he’s never been out of the very top draw. Best in the world? No chance.

Kyungmin Sin - June 21, 2009 Reply

I agree with Ed

Marco - June 19, 2009 Reply

He’s probably one of the most hardworking, dedicated and professional players in the world. But he’s nowhere near to being in the same league as Messi, Henry, Ronaldo or Kaka.
Yet, it’s players like him that are the unsung heroes of a team. It’s the grafters, the water carriers and the team players that allow the mercurial talents to strut their stuff.

hashaka - June 20, 2009 Reply

park on the right and tosic or nani on the right is not exactly a frightening propect of the wigan defence

Ben - June 22, 2009 Reply

park wasn’t the problem at rome, ronaldo was.

1.afterwards he criticized the tactics, but HE was the reason saf played that way.
he never defends so having him in midfield is like an open defensive spot for 90 min, saf abandoned the centre forward position in order to crowd the midfield which, without fletch, didn’t work out.

2.he carelessly lost possession troughout the whole game over and over again, against a team that needs possession more than any other in europe in order to hit top gear

3.ronaldo not only gave the ball away too frequentely to the oposition, he also opted to ignore his teammates and go for goal or make a run into nowhere far too often

i really hope that saf finds a way to sign ribery, because in contrast to ronaldo he works for the team, while his goals+assists rate is still world class.
ronaldo unbalanced united troughout the whole season, i can’t wait to see him at madrid, they will mess up big time.
madrid will play with one striker+kaka+ron+another offensive midfielder which combined with their weak backline will result in catastrophe if they don’t buy another defensive midfielder to acompany diarra and at least 2 top level defenders.
kaka will put in a lot of work, the fans will appreciate it and blame ronaldo for being selfish, which will make him play even worse and eventually everyone will get fed up with him.

matako - July 12, 2009 Reply

Clearly,do you believe yourself?Ronaldo the problem coz he doesnt defend?Tell me who does,messi?henry?etoo?xavi?iniesta?pique? half the barcelona team cant defend but their strength is in attack.
you bring a team of defence minded players bar ronaldo and think you will beat a top team?

John - June 23, 2009 Reply

oh come on
I mean who really believes that PARK goes well with Man U?
I’m a Korean myself and I believe he’s not just the left winger for the reds. I’d prefer Nani .
Park he just wants to run . No interest in goals~~~
just let him run on the sides

pez - June 23, 2009 Reply

park park where ever you may be………

i dont blame park just dont pick nani

Ian - June 25, 2009 Reply

Park is a good squad player – Not first choice… Nani will be playing for his future this coming season and i don’t expect him to be up to the task… Tosic could be a very interesting player for us next season and i wouldn’t be supprised if he becomes first choice on the left with Valencia on the right…

Givthr Kijl - July 2, 2009 Reply


John Tring - July 3, 2009 Reply

Just plain crazy: SAF is just brain-cramped to paly Park in the final. It is clear SAF’s age is catching up, he’s now ruled by heart not his head. UCL final team and tactics( or lack of it ) would confirm this.

matako - July 12, 2009 Reply

The irony of this game is that if you are a favourite,you always do whjat u want without criticism.Is Rooney a striker in the sense or a defensive striker?The guy has failed to improve and the reason he is played on the wing isnt actually accomodating Ronaldo but to find him a place.

Alexander - November 16, 2009 Reply

Tosic rules!

bolaji - December 31, 2009 Reply

tosic is a good player he just needs to be given more playing time so as to adjust better to the english game hope to see him in the fa cup game against leeds

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