Miralem Pjanic: Why Spurs Must Make A Third Bid For The Fiery Playmaker

Maybe if Spurs can persuade the highly-motivated Pjanic that he will become a central figure in North London they can wrestle him away from the Eternal City but they have their work cut out...
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Maybe if Spurs can persuade the highly-motivated Pjanic that he will become a central figure in North London they can wrestle him away from the Eternal City but they have their work cut out...

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Despite reports to the contrary Miralem Pjanic is enjoying life in Rome; well according to the midfielder that is, who has attempted to dampened some of Tottenham Hotspur's luster for his services.

The 22-year-old is well aware that the Premier League club have made two enquires to AS Roma but rather than wait for his club to rebuff them only to accept that they could do business, as they have with Daniele De Rossi recently, he has stated that he is not leaving the Capital anytime soon.

However, the Bosnia international has been the centre of a surprise move in the past when he left Lyon on the last day of the summer transfer window in 2011 in an 11million euro transfer to Italy.

Tottenham Hotspur may feel it will be third time lucky when the transfer merry-go-round gets into full swing in January or at least lay the foundations for a summer assault.

After all, we all want to feel wanted and recently Pjanic must be thinking that is not the case considering the way he has been treated by Zdenek Zeman.

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The craggy, old coach has long been set in his ways and once he gets something in his head then there is little that anyone can do to change his course.

Pjanic has found himself further down the pecking order behind talented local youngster Alessandro Florenzi and new American signing Michael Bradley for the role either side of the central midfielder which another new face, Panagiotis Tachtsidis looks to have claimed from De Rossi.

There is no doubt that he is a prized asset: immensely talented on the ball, ballet-like balance and quick feet, going forward he can draw opponents to him before releasing a swift one-two.

Zeman’s problem is that he also has Francesco Totti, Pablo Osvaldo and Erik Lamela who also possess sublime skills and want to show them off at every opportunity – and at present the coach does not feel secure in having another out and out touch player on the pitch.

An array of riches indeed; but the Zvornik-born youngster whose father Faharadin played for Yugoslavia side FK Jedinstvo before moving his family to Luxembourg has demonstrated he has no desire to play second or third fiddle to anyone.

Coming on late in the recent Rome derby for Totti whose positioning on the left of attack is also nullifying Pjanic’s talent, he gave his side hope with a audacious free-kick from some 40 yards that caught Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti completely off guard.

Suspensions to Tachtsidis and De Rossi enabled him to claim the centre of midfield for the following game against Torino - and it is in that position where his future lies.

His sharp passing not only brought the front three into the game but also encouraged the full-backs to come forward whilst playing from a deeper starting position he arrived in the area to score the second goal in a 2-0 win.

Moving across the border to FC Metz at 14, Pjanic was snapped up by Lyon in 2008 where he came under the wing of one the finest free-kick specialists in the European game, Juninho Pernambucano from whom he perfected the “knuckle-ball” style from set pieces that the Brazilian was so renowned for.

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Along with the elder statesman of Ligue 1, the teenager gained valuable experience in a Lyon side that dominated the domestic game and began to make a name for themselves in the Champions League.

Taking over Juninho’s number eight shirt for the 2009-10 season, Pjanic scored a stunning free-kick in the Champions League preliminary round against Andrelecht and in the same season silenced the Bernabeu with the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid.

It was the arrival of another playmaker, Yoann Gourouff (who had been at AC Milan and had returned crest-fallen to Bordeaux) that produced the first cracks in Pjanic’s relationship with Lyon and switch to Roma.

A firm favourite of coach Luis Enrique, he quickly learnt that the pressure of Roman football can wear the best of them down but as a full international and part of the Bosnia and Herzegovina team that came so close to qualifying for Euro 2012 and now look good bets for an appearance at World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Pjanic is carrying the weight of expectation with a steely touch.

His reaction to scoring against Lazio was to fire off a volley of abuse towards the Roma bench but his frustrations have been well appreciated within the club’s hierarchy as a player who is not in the Capital to enjoy La Dolce Vita.

Maybe if Tottenham Hotspur can persuade the highly-motivated Pjanic that he will become a central figure in North London they can wrestle him away from the Eternal City but they have their work cut out.