Lowdown on Coventry City transfer link with 'immense potential' and 'inch-perfect' pass

Coventry City were this week strongly linked with talented young midfielder Marko Stamenic – a New Zealand international who, it is claimed, is joining the Sky Blues from Red Star Belgrade.

According to Serbian sports outlet Sportal.rs, the Sky Blues have splashed out £4.26m on the defensive midfielder. The online publication headlined their story this week as a ‘transfer bomb,’ saying it’s a ‘spectacular’ bit of business by the Belgrade club, otherwise known as FK Crvena Zvezda, claiming it has sold the holding midfielder for a ‘staggering €5m’ only a year after joining the club for free from Copenhagen.

Sources in New Zealand have confirmed there is interest from the Championship club, while CoventryLive understands that talk of a done deal is premature. However, the 22-year-old was in London this week, further adding to the speculation that he could be heading for the CBS Arena.

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So what do we know about the lad? Here Kiwi Sam Smith, a researcher for EASPORTS FC and Football Manager gaming platforms, provides an in-depth look at the player whose career he’s followed closely since a teenager.

Standout qualities

“He’s very comfortable and composed on the ball, has a bit of flair and has brilliant aggression and interception instincts. He’s tall and physical with a fantastic passing range and vision. He also has a good touch and dribbling ability."

Best position

“He’s played a different position basically every season of his career. You can stick him at centre-back, defensive midfield, central midfield or he can play as an attacking midfielder without too many issues. But due to this, I and many Crvena Zvezda fans feel we don’t actually know his best position yet.

“I think there’s a great box-to-box player in him but he’s often been deployed very deep as either a lone defensive midfielder or as part of a holding partnership. Had an absolutely unbelievable pre-season and first few months this season when he looked like one of the best defensive midfield prospects in his age range on the planet but slowed down as the season dragged on and his role diminished with more experienced midfielders playing alongside him."

Room for improvement/things to work on

“He’s prone to a yellow card and while he can and does carry the ball forward with confidence, he falters a bit when forced to make a decision in the final third and often fluffs the final ball. He’s not a goal threat at all right now.

“I feel it is an important aspect of his game that his long passing is significantly better than his short passing, which is honestly poor for a central midfielder. He’s smooth on the ball with space but never really seems completely comfortable when he doesn’t have a lot of time to weigh up his next move. Give him a few seconds, though, and he’ll launch an inch-perfect bullet!”


“Stamenic is a guy I’ve followed since he was 15 or so and he’s a guy whose future I’m very invested in because of this and I’ve watched him a lot! I’ve tried to watch as many live games as possible throughout his club career (caught 20 this season) and, of course, have watched all of his international games.

“He’s a lovely guy, raised well. He’s very softly spoken and eloquent and there’s plenty of interviews he’s had in English on Red Star Belgrade’s YouTube channel to get a gauge of his character. On the field, however, he’s VERY emotive and shows how much he cares!”

International career with New Zealand

“He’s not taking part in the OFC Nations Cup this summer but neither are other first XI players like Wood, Garbett, Boxall, McCowatt, Bell and Singh so it’s not something I’d read anything into. I’ve heard it’s nothing more than a well-deserved post-season rest considering the relative ease of the competition, and I believe that any Coventry interest is merely circumstantial and not the reason he’s not involved.”


“All in all he has absolutely immense potential, maybe the best prospect I’ve ever seen come out of New Zealand!”

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