Rated extremely high in his country, even touted as a future national captain, his career has been stop start since joining Newcastle in January 2009 due to the amount of injuries he has suffered. Vuckic was born in Ljubljana and played for NK Domzale in his youth, a small town in central Slovenia.
Born: August 21, 1992 (aged 20)
Playing positions: Attacking Midfield, Forward
Squad number: 29
It was considered quite a coup by Newcastle to capture him and he was one of the first signings of Ashley’s new youth business plan. He got off to a flying start in the reserve side, coming off the bench for his debut and scoring the winning goal against Blackburn (February 2009).
The following season, with Newcastle relegated to The Championship and with a squad that lacked depth, Vuckic was expected to make several appearances. Aged just 17 years and five days he made his first team debut, coming off the bench in a league cup tie against Huddersfield. Five days later, he made his Championship debut, replacing Nile Ranger in a 1-0 win against Leicester. Sadly, after his promising start he suffered a serious injury keeping him out of nearly the whole campaign. He worked hard and came back stronger the season after, and took part in Newcastle’s impressive League Cup run including a 4-3 away win at Chelsea. He was also awarded the man of the match award against Arsenal in a 4-0 fourth round defeat. A series of niggling injuries kept him out of the first team for the rest of the season but he signed a five and a half year deal in January 2011.
Vuckic then had a blistering pre-season, back from injury and fighting fit, it looked as though 2011-12 could be his year. He scored a fantastic goal against MLS Columbus crew in a 3-0 win and scored against Leeds in the next pre-season game. He made his Premier League debut against Fulham on 28 August 2011 and then started his first Premier League game against West Brom in December 2011. He had a fine game against WBA, winning many plaudits after hitting the woodwork from 30 yards.
He was subsequently loaned to Cardiff to gain more first team experience, he scored one goal in five game but sadly ended his spell there early due to injury.
Vuckic scored his first United goal against Atromitos in this year’s Europa League and has performed reasonably well in League Cup games. However, he already finds himself ruled out for the entire season after suffering an injury in a reserve game at Aston Villa.
His international career has been quite successful despite his injuries. He made his debut for Slovenia this year against Scotland after representing his country at every youth level.
- NK Domzale rated him so highly, they played him aged just 15 in a Slovenian PrvaLiga match, breaking the league’s rules. His club were fined.
- Haris is one of the fastest players in history to be a substituted substitute. He was brought on against Fulham, August 2011 in the 78th minute, only to be subbed off minutes later (’85) with an injury.
- Vuckic was at the centre of a national tug of war, with his Father being of Bosnian decent, the Bosnian FA wanted him to represent their national side. However Vuckic stated he was proud of his Fathers ancestry but had decided to play for Slovenia a long time ago.
Throughout his career so far, he has showcased his huge talent when he’s fit. The only problem is keeping him fit. He seems to be one of them unfortunate injury prone players. He is extremely talented, with two great feet and a physical presence. It is a shame that at the age of 20, we are already thinking what might have been if he hadn’t been such a regular on the treatment table.
He has played well this season and is still only young. We cannot deny the talent he possesses and everyone at the club should get behind him, he is not out of the game at his age yet. He will come back physically better from his injury and fingers crossed, next season could be the making of him. His latest injury is probably his biggest setback. With so many games for the Toon this season he was bound to get more playing time than ever.
Current ability: 6/10 – would be totally at home in The Championship.
Potential ability: 8/10 – If, and it’s a big if, he can stay clear of injury after this setback, he could be a Premier League regular for years to come.