Arsenal may finally have found a suitable midfield general, after it emerged that Stuttgart spoiler Zdravko Kuzmanovic is looking for a way out of the German club. talkSPORT's Transfer Spotlight has more...
Name: Zdravko Kuzmanovic
Date of birth: 22/09/87
Birthplace: Thun, Switzerland
Position: Defensive midfielder
Honours: Swiss Cup (2007)
International appearances: 45 (Serbia)
What's the latest?
Kuzmanovic is said to be unhappy with his current situation at Stuttgart, with the midfielder only making seven appearances this season in the Bundesliga, despite tallying up 32 in the league last year. As a result, the outspoken Serbia international has made it clear that unless something drastically changes at the club, he'll leave. His contract is due to expire next summer, so Stuttgart will almost certainly try and cash in while they still can during the January transfer window and Arsenal are said to be particularly keen, but so too are Inter and Sevilla, so they could have a fight on their hands.
Did you know?
1) Kuzmanovic was born in Switzerland to Bosnian-Serb parents. His grandfather played lower league football in Bosnia as a youngster, while his father Ljubo played professionally in Germany and Switzerland. It was during his spell at FC Thun that Ljubo decided to settle in Switzerland permanently.
2) After spells at Durrenast and Young Boys, Kuzmanovic moved to the Basel academy in 2003. Strong performances in the club's U21 side led to his first team debut in the 2005/06 season, and after he continued to impress, he was awarded the 2006 Swiss Golden Player of the year. The following year, he collected his only piece of major silverware to date, the Swiss Cup.
3) Basel managed to hold on to Kuzmanovic for the 2006/07 season, despite strong interest from abroad, but eventually agreed to sell him to Fiorentina in the January transfer window and the £2.4m the Italians paid for him made Kuzmanovic the most expensive Swiss U21 international ever. While the midfielder would only make four appearances during the remainder of the 2006/07 Serie A campaign, the following year his importance to the Florence side increased dramatically and he played 49 times in all competitions, scoring two goals. Kuzmanovic also gave English opposition a taste of his qualities when he scored against Everton in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.
4) After one more solid season at Fiorentina, Bundesliga side Stuttgart paid £7m for Kuzmanovic in the summer of 2009. He made his Bundesliga debut against Hamburg in September and went on to score his first Stuttgart goal against Sevilla in November and the Spaniards have clearly not forgotten about him. That month also saw him score his first German league goal, with his effort rescuing a point in the 1-1 draw against Hertha. He has continued to add more goals at Stuttgart and has found the back of the net on 17 occasions in all competitions, compared to the seven in total at both of his previous professional teams.
5) The midfielder played for Switzerland at youth level, and even participated in their 2007 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifying campaign. That same year, however, he opted to play for Serbia, and has since gone on to make 46 appearances for his paternal home nation.
“As my situation hasn't changed, I'll be off in the summer. I have never doubted my quality.”
- Kuzmanovic speaking to Bild about his current predicament at Stuttgart
Arsenal fans, would Zdravko Kuzmanovic be a good addition to your midfield? Leave a comment below and have your say...