The Alen Halilović hype-train has left the station! Again. The 25 year-old is already becoming a Reading fan favorite, scoring once and assisting twice in his first four starts for the club, which is currently in the English 2nd Division. Halilović scored the game-winning goal against Middlesbrough on Saturday, and was the highest rated player on the pitch.
Halilović has been one of the biggest disappointments in Croatian football history. Once hailed the “Croatian Messi”, Alen has been unable to find a groove for himself in any top league. His father’s animosity, pressure, and Dinamo Zagreb’s management of Halilović when he was a youngster, are all factors to suggest blame. Halilović is undoubtedly a talented player, and can still make defenders look silly with his silky dribbling, but his ego (from playing for Barcelona in his teens) could be a product of his career stall. Individually, he is a level above almost all players in the English Championship, but consistency has always been his downfall.
The real question is: will Halilović ever make a complete comeback and challenge for a spot on the Croatian national team?
If he can continue his impressive form in England and help Reading get promoted to the Premiership, why not also give him a shot with the national team? If in-form players such as Ćolak, Ivanušeć, and Livaja can earn a call up from Dalić, Halilović should be in the same conversation with 2+ solid months of performances.
The God of Halilović has returned! 🙂