Zoran Tosic has been a big mystery to many Manchester United fans, signed in January 2009 from Partizan Belgrade, initial reports claimed he’s be United legend Ryan Giggs’s heir apparent, this mainly due to some similarities between the two. Tosic was known to have an excellent left foot, great at crossing and really quick with the ball and fleet footed. So the anticipation to see him break through was high, especially since at the time our Left wing was run by Cristiano Ronaldo and Park Ji-sung and Ryan Giggs. But with Ronaldo leaving almost sure and Park better down the right and Giggs getting older and also Nani being very inconsistent and frustrating, Tosic seemed to be the solution to our problems.
He was the given the no. 14 Jersey and he went on to make 3 appearances that season as a sub for the first team. He became a regular in the reserves and impressing too at the level clearly showing he was too good for the reserves. But his light weight frame and apparent frailty started the usual calls the he need to “Bulk-up”. Start of the 2009-10 season, he travelled with the first team in the Pre-season tour and put in impressive performances down the Left wing, so many expected him to play a major role down the left side as Ronaldo had left and people sceptical whether Nani could produce the goods.
But the first half of the season proved frustrating for the young Serb, restricted to just 2 appearances as a sub in the League cup, with Gabriel Obertan clearly ahead of him in the pecking order. Come January he was loaned out to Köln for the rest of the season, many expecting him to struggle in the physical Bundesliga and also indicating that the move was his last chance to salvage his Man United career. And Tosic went on to prove a point in Germany, starring for Köln down either wing, showing great dribbling and crossing skills as he went to score 5 goals in 13 appearances for the Germans also notching up 3 assists in the process. His impressive displays in Germany resulted in the Germans desperately trying to sign the Serb on a permanent deal but being knocked back by their lack of funds.
His future at United is still unclear as the resurgent Nani showing why Sir Alex spent a reported £17 Million on him with very impressive performances from January onwards as he was one of the main reasons United remained in the hunt for the title till the last game of the season. Tosic has shown he can play down both wings and that he can score goals too, His crossing skills are good too and has the ability to get past his defender with his pace and dribbling, also a deft set piece specialist. But a good season in the Bundesliga doesn’t mean he’ll do well in the EPL, which is much more intense compared to Germany.
Aged only 23, he has time on his side but is clearly frustrated by the lack of first team football at United and had recently asked that his future be cleared before the World Cup and indicating that he would like to join Koln on a permanent deal. With the new Squad limit being introduced in England from the forthcoming season, the future looks bleak for the Serbian, United currently have 26 players to be registered and it does seem that he might be sold to make room in the squad but it remains unclear.
I’d like Tosic to be given a chance in the first team, which he hasn’t had a chance to do, so we can never say he’d suit the Prem or not. It’d be ideal if he was loaned to a Premier League club for the season or better if he somehow squeezed into out 25 man roster, the depth at the wings is thin at the moment with Valencia and Nani our best wingers and Park, Giggs and Obertan providing cover, but Giggs has started playing down the middle as he doesn’t seem to have the legs to bombard down the wings for 90 minutes like he used to, so that leaves us with Park and Obertan, so retaining Tosic wouldn’t be a bad idea. If he does go, there’s every chance Tosic will impress at his new club and could end up being the one we missed, even though he was with for almost 2 years.
Tosic is a mysterious Enigma at United, fans don’t know what to expect and coaches also unsure but he could turn out to be a good player if given a chance. So let’s all hope the coming season see’s this Enigma solved.