By Mark Doyle
Stevan Jovetic is only now poised to leave Fiorentina. However, his career at the club effectively ended in June, when he gave an unauthorised interview to the Gazzetta dello Sport in which he not only declared his intention to leave but to do so for the Florene outfit's most hated rivals, Juventus.
That Jovetic is actually departing for Manchester City is somewhat surprising, given that he has never made any secret of his desire to remain in Italy. However, his move away from the Stadio Artemio Franchi was inevitable as soon as he spoke to the press without permission, provoking outrage among the Viola's directors and supporters.
However, we should not have been too surprised by Jovetic having rather boldly decided to take matters into his own hands. Yes, the 23-year-old is a rather affable character who simply loves playing football - however, he is also a very determined young man. He has long believed that he - and only he - is the master of his own destiny.
|JOVETIC'S CAREER STATS
"I will return stronger than before," he declared at the time. And he did. In every sense. Not only has Jovetic noticeably bulked up over the past two years, he has also honed his already considerable skills to become an even more complete forward.
He is still not yet a prolific goalscorer - his best single-season haul in Italy is just 14 - but he undeniably has the ability to become one. Jovetic has long been renowned for his two-footedness and ability to beat a player but he has also exhibited greatly improved predatory instincts over the past two years.
When he first arrived in Italy from Paritzan in 2008, it was obvious that he was a player of enormous potential. However, the slender 18-year-old with the Brian May-esque hair initially struggled to get to grips with the Italian game.
Of course, he first came to the attention of British audiences with his two-goal salvo against Liverpool in the group stages of the 2009-10 Champions League but, in many ways, his injury was the making of him.
As he said upon his return to the game: "When I arrived in Florence I was little more than a child; now I have become a man."
It is that self-belief that has been driving him ever since. It is the reason why he has developed into such a formidable attacking talent and why he decided that he could not go another year at Fiorentina without Champions League football.
"I'm young and ambitious and it is normal to feel the need to test myself elsewhere," he explained in June. "I do not think there's anything wrong with desire.
"Florence and the Viola fans have always asked me to be upfront: so here it is. I need stimulation elsewhere; I need to devote myself in a top club. I've played in Europe with Fiorentina; now I want to win in Europe."
Of course, the cynics would say that, if he wants to do that, he is joining the wrong club. He would surely have been better off at Juventus, Champions League quarter-finalists last season?
However, Bianconeri director Beppe Marotta claimed earlier in July that the Italian champions had decided against signing Jovetic because they felt that Carlos Tevez was the answer to their attacking problems. That could very well prove the case.
City, though, should be just as enthusiastic about Jovetic's arrival at Eastlands because, coincidentally, the Montenegrin could be the answer to theirs.
For all his fantastic dribbling skills, sublime ball control and tactical versatility - he can play anywhere in attack - what really sets Jovetic apart is his mental strength and incredible will to win. That has been the secret of his success to date - and could now be a key contributing factor in bringing some success back to City next season.
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