Football IQ Observatory


Ante Palaversa

Croatia’s tradition in producing top-class central midfielders continues. Manchester City have snapped Hajduk Split’s prospect Ante Palaversa in a deal looking at the future.


City have completed the deal that will see Palaversa loaned back to Hajduk Split until June 2020, with a clause allowing them to recall the youngster in January 2020.

Palaversa has attracted the attention of City scouts after breaking into the Hajduk Split side in summer 2018. After featuring for Hajduk Split’s reserve side, which plays in the Croatian second division, Palaversa has been enjoying his first top-tier season showing signs of his potential. Having represented Croatia up to u19 level, captaining the side on his last three caps, he has three goals and two assists in eight u19 appearances.


AGE: 19

MV: 550.000 €

2018/2019 Hajduk Split


Football IQ Profile

Let’s have a look at his Football IQ profile. 

For this purpose we’ll use Football IQ’s DPI data-sets from the 2018/2019 season. 


A look at his Tendency chart gives a general idea about his style of play so far in the 2018/2019 season.

Heavily involved in build-up from the back as well as picking up teammates in advanced positions, the towering 19-year old Croatian midfielder’s tendency chart demonstrates all the traits of a deep-lying playmaker. 

More than a passing machine, Palaversa takes a fair amount of shots but also is a focal point of his team’s aerial contests.


Palaversa stands out as the most productive central midfielder in the Croatian top-flight when it comes to delivering the ball to teammates in advanced positions (99/100). 

His excellent technique and vision allow him to demonstrate a 92/100 rating when it comes to producing long balls and – despite his technical background- an impressive 80/100 in aerial contests productivity.

During his first top-tier season, Palaversa is already considered a key player for Hajduk. It is obvious from his productivity chart that his contribution in creating promising situations for his team is significant, even though he is not usually the man who makes the final delivery but rather the one who “lights the fire” from the back.


When it comes to efficiency, it’s obvious that the 19-year old still has room to improve his game. Evidently his build-up passing efficiency rating is high (83/100) and – despite his low tendency for intelligent passes – his efficiency is quite high on this aspect of his game, clear sign of his talent and understanding of the game.

Despite his high involvement in aerial contests he cannot be considered a powerhouse in the air. However, his dribbling is quite high justifying his excellent technique and balance. 


Palaversa’s passing radar chart is a clear indication of his playing style.

Extremely capable of building from the back, accustomed to short passing game as well as long passing switches of play he is able to pick up teammates on the move providing the foundations for Hajduk’s offensive play strategy.  


His attacking radar chart explains why his overall attacking rating is 60/100. 

Despite his high conversion rate (xGoals vs Goals) and a clear dribbling ability, he is rarely present in danger zones, a clear indication of the areas he has been operating the most.


Despite him bossing the midfield with his passing ability and vision, there is still room for improvement in the defensive aspects of his game.


Manchester City lost no time in securing his signature after his steady level of performances halfway the 2018/2019 season. It is obvious Manchester City’s scouts have identified several key aspects as to what they expect from their midfielders in the Guardiola era. It would not be a surprise if the 19-year old becomes the successor of Fernandinho in City’s midfield in the years to come.

Until then Palaversa has a long way to go, with lots of aspects to improve his game on. However, the foundations are there and it’s all up to him to live up to the expectations and develop into a top-class central midfielder.



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