Not too long ago Newcastle’s young Slovenian wonder was being tipped as the Toon’s ‘next big thing’ and closely monitored by world-beaters AC Milan and Real Madrid. Now the out-of-favour midfielder is close to making ties with Bradford City for a season-long loan move.
So this begs the question – will Newcastle live to regret wasting his potential? Or is it a different story altogether – that this move is simply giving him enough first team football to ready him for a future feature in the black and white first team?
Haris Vuckic first became a familiar name for fans back in 2009 when he signed for the club as a 16-year-old and was within months subject to speculative interest from Spanish giants and richest club in the world, Real Madrid. In March of that year, Vuckic was being tipped to feature in the starting line-up as early as the following season.
Now, still at the tender age of 21, the midfield playmaker has featured sporadically in the Newcastle squad and has not had a real opportunity to make a name for himself and turn heads.
We should remind ourselves, however, that the 6”2 man from Ljubljana has been riddled with injuries over the past three years and this has hampered considerably his chances of getting his name on the teamsheet. Pardew himself has said that the attacking midfielder has been “unlucky” and is frustrated that fitness problems have obstructed his ability to experience the player’s full potential.
As recently as this month, Vuckic looked determined to overcome his misfortune and make up for lost time, declaring his wish to help the Toon push for a top ten finish this season. However, various sources report that he has been training with Bradford this week, and it looks almost certain that he will be dedicating his time to finding success for last season’s League Cup finalists instead of helping the Magpies improve on last season’s disappointment.
So, his priorities have shifted. But is this necessarily a bad thing at this time? Alan Pardew has backed the decision, insisting the youngster needs game time to get back up to speed after his injuries. What is more, Valley Parade seems the right place to do it given the team’s drive and recent success.
Although many supporters will feel disappointed and frustrated with the Slovenian’s lack of action and contribution in a Newcastle shirt, the move is not permanent and arguably brings more benefits than drawbacks, promising to set him back on track and prepare him for the challenging campaigns to come.