Written by Markus & CroatiaU14
After months of speculation, German and Croatian media outlets confirm that Josip Stanišić has officially committed to playing with the Croatian national team. With an aging Šime Vrsaljko as Croatia’s number one right-back and Legia Warsaw’s Josip Juranović as option #2, Stanišić’s skills at the right-back position are exactly what the Vatreni need at the moment. Stanišić is a 21 year-old German-born Croatian, and has been capped by Germany’s U19 squad twice. He is already becoming a key player for European giants Bayern Munich, and started in the opening game of the 2021-2022 Bundesliga season. Stanišić is set to play his first match for Croatia’s U21 squad on September 2nd against Azerbaijan.
Stanišić is an incredibly versatile player, which makes him such a valuable asset to any national team. He can play all across the defensive line at right-back, left-back and center-back. He has also been deployed as a defensive and central midfielder for Bayern in the past. Patiently climbing through their youth ranks, Stanišić has earned his call-up to the senior Bayern squad. An impressed Julian Nagelsmann announced Stanišić in the starting lineup at right-back against their bogey team, Borussia Monchengladbach. Stanišić had an amazing game considering that just last season he was playing in the German 3rd division. Offensively, Josip was one of Bayern’s biggest creators. He recorded one key pass, 50% cross accuracy, two shots on target, one off target, and many progressive runs. He recorded a solid 80.9% pass accuracy as well. Defensively, Josip had a great game bar two mistakes. After saving a sure goal in the first five minutes of the match, he was caught too far up the pitch and did not make it back in time to help his central defenders make up for Alphonso Davies’ lazy turnover in the middle of the pitch, resulting in a goal for Borussia. 10 minutes before he was subbed off, Stanišić looked a bit gassed and was dribbled by twice, catching back up once and lucking out the second time by a Marcus Thuram mistake. Overall, Stanišić was the most defensively sound Bayern defender of the match. We saw him drift up and down the field, to the midfield near Joshua Kimmich, as well as to the opposite side of the pitch in order to support Davies on the left.
Just take a look at his heat map below:
In his Bundesliga debut last season against Union Berlin, Stanišić played as a left-back. Below is his heat map, showing yet again how progressive he is despite putting up impressive defensive numbers.
In his professional career, Stanišić has played:
- Right-back in 40 appearances, scoring one goal and assisting twice
- Center-back in 39 appearances, scoring two goals and assisting once
- Left-back in 4 appearances, assisting once
- Right midfield in 1 appearance
- Defensive midfield in 1 appearance
Keep in mind, he was a central-defensive midfielder in his youth days.
Fun fact: Josip Stanišić recorded the second fastest speed of yesterday’s match at a lightning quick 33.05 km/h, only behind the speedy Alphonso Davies.
It’s been a long time since Croatia had a reliable defense. Even during our legendary 2018 World Cup run, the Vatreni faithful had to sit through inconsistent performances from Domagoj Vida and Dejan Lovren – who still remain boneheads to this day! With elite talents such as Joško Gvardiol, Mario Vušković, Borna Sosa, Duje Ćaleta-Car, and now Josip Stanišić, Croatia is a couple years away from fielding a world class backline. Sosa and Stanišić possess the offensive skills needed on the flank, and have proven to be very strong defensively. Ćaleta-Car and Vušković are top-notch defenders with great vision, ball skills, and aerial ability. And as for Gvardiol, we already know how special he is with his stunning pace, dribbling skills, and work ethic.
Stanišić has the potential to become the best Croatian right-back the nation has seen. Starting for Bayern Munich at the age of 21 puts a lot of expectations on his name, and only time will tell us if he has the ability to beat the pressure and perform. Josip has big shoes to fill due to Darijo Srna, and now Šime Vrsaljko’s impressive accolades with the Croatian national team. It is fair to say that Darijo and Šime are already Vatreni legends – but the real question is, can Stanišić become one too?