18-year-old Croatian wonderkid Anton Matkovic, is attracting serious interest from some of Europe’s leading football clubs including Inter Milan.

The 6ft 3” forward, who can also play a wide forward role, came through the youth system at the Marsonia Academy before switching to Osijek in the summer of 2022.

Within just 12 months, Matkovic had made his senior debut for Osijek. Three weeks later, he notched his first senior goal in a game with Dinamo Zagreb.

In total, Matkovic has scored four in 15 appearances for Osijek’s first team, which sit fourth in Croatia’s top division.

Figures inside football have likened Matkovic’s style to that of compatriot, Mario Mandzukic, who was so often a thorn in Inter’s side against Juventus.

Matkovic’s agent, Marjan Sisic, said he wouldn’t speak about specific clubs. However, he confirmed that many clubs were monitoring Matkovic’s progress.

Even Sisic says that clubs such as Inter are viewing Matkovic as one for the future, rather than a signing to make an immediate impact.

Inter already have strong senior forward players in Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez. This would be very useful to take the pressure off Matkovic.

Both Martinez and Thuram have been in prolific form this term and will be keen to help Inter defend their title in 2024/25.

Given the way that Inter have dominated the Serie A so much in 2023/24, it’ll be very surprising if the Nerazzurri aren’t predicted to win the Scudetto for a second consecutive year whilst finishing top of the UEFA Champions League group standings next season.

What would Matkovic bring to Inter’s forward line?

When quizzed on Matkovic’s key attributes, his agent said that he is “very fast”, as well as a “diligent” and “strong” player. All three attributes are non-negotiables in the modern game, where players are more like athletes than technicians with the ball.

Although Matkovic is capable of playing on the wing, Inter have typically adopted a 3-5-2 system this season, with the likes of Augusto and Darmian providing the width from wingback areas.

This means Matkovic’s role next season would be more as a support striker to Marcus Thuram, who stands 6ft 4” tall.

In truth, the signing of Matkovic would do little to move the needle for Inter’s title chances next season. He’s not someone you would expect to hit the ground running and score 10-15 goals.

In fact, it’s equally possible that Matkovic is signed by Inter and promptly loaned out to another club for regular first team football.

Matkovic has played at the international level for Croatia’s U17, U18 and U19 sides but will surely require more time at senior level elsewhere before becoming a regular for the Nerazzurri.

Could Inter Milan Prefer Other Players Over Anton Matkovic this summer?

It’s possible that Inter may yet divert their summer transfer budget elsewhere. The Nerazzurri have been strongly linked with Bologna forward, Joshua Zirkzee, in recent weeks.

Zirkzee has played a key role in Bologna’s fairytale season, which has culminated in Champions League qualification for the 2024/25 season.

Zirkzee joined from Bayern Munich in 2022 and although it took him some time to adapt the Dutchman has shone in 23/24.

A breakthrough season at Belgian side Anderlecht helped in 2021/22, before returning to provide a real focal point for Thiago Motta’s men. At 6ft 4”, Zirkzee would offer exceptional competition for Thuram. It also transpires that he’d only cost €40 million to snap up.

All in all, it’s clear that Matkovic is near the top of the list for scouts across Europe, the Croat is far from the finished article that Inter need if they’re to assert themselves both domestically and beyond in 2024/25.