Winter Transfer Window 2019: Which Croatian Footballers Left Clubs?

By 1 February 2019

For Croatian footballers, the winter transfer period promised significant things. Domagoj Vida was meant to go to an ‘Italian Giant’, Ivan Perišić was to live his dream in the Premier League, and the story of Nikola Kalinić was as up and down as ever. In the end, however, only a few Croatian footballers managed to secure deals that have them switching clubs in the middle of the season. 

After all the talk and media speculation, here is what really happened in this winter transfer window, as reported by T.portal on February 1, 2019. 

Ivan Perišić

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is felt by Ivan Perišić, who failed to achieve his dream to play in the English Premier League after his transfer to Arsenal (if there was a contract on the table at all) fell through. Perišić has hit the bottom of the barrel for Inter Milan fans, who whistled at Perišić in the last game against Lazio. 

Because Perišić was not shy about showing his desire to leave the Serie A club, restoring confidence in the fans won’t be easy - and he is currently in disagreement with coach Luciano Spalletti, who even benched him against Lazio. 

Domagoj Vida

Croatian defender Domagoj Vida was very close to a transfer from Turkish club Beşiktaş to Roma, though no agreement was made. The 29-year-old defender showed no remorse, and instead took to his Instagram to show his love to the Turkish club.

I am privileged to be coveted by several well-respected European clubs, but I am also very grateful and thankful to the president @forman1903 and club management for seeing me as an important part of @besiktas. Together with my family, I feel very welcomed and respected here in Turkey and I am looking forward to fighting for Black Eagles and our fans.”

Nikola Kalinić

Nikola Kalinić’s departure from Atletico Madrid after only half a year was also expected, as Alvaro Morata left Chelsea to join the club. Atletico coach Diego Simeone decided to keep Kalinić in the end, although the forward saw the interest of Valencia, Schalke, and Tottenham. The question, however, is just how good staying at Atletico is for Kalinić, as he could see far less playing time in the spring season. 

Šime Vrsaljko

There were even talks about Croatian defender Šime Vrsaljako returning to Atletico Madrid from Inter Milan, though he awaits an upcoming knee operation and should see a long recovery in 2019.

Marko Rog

There are some happy endings to the winter transfer window, and Marko Rog is one of them. The 23-year-old has agreed to leave Napoli and head to Sevilla on loan until the end of the season. While the first news from the transfer reported that Sevilla would have the option to buy the Croatian for some 20 million euros once the loan is complete, we’ve learned that Rog will return to his carer in Naples in June. The good news is that Rog should see more playing time at Sevilla than  Napoli, which should also help his chances of falling in favor with Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić, too. 

Alen Halilović

Alen Halilović managed to secure a deal in the final minutes of the transfer window, which will see him go on loan from Milan to Belgian club Standard Liège. It is undoubtedly a good move for the 22-year-old who has long been without continuous performances in competitive games. 

Franko Andrijašević

Former top player of the Croatian First League, Franko Andrijašević, has also managed a successful move from Gent to Waasland-Beveren, where he will play on loan. 

Lovre Kalinić

Former Hajduk goalkeeper and current first keeper of the Croatia national team Lovre Kalinić has left Gent to continue his career at Aston Villa, who play in the second tier of the English football league system - the Championship. 

Croatian First League transfers

Perhaps the most powerful signing in Croatia was by young Hajduk midfielder Ante Palaversa who agreed with Manchester City for just over six million euro, while Dinamo’s Mario Budimir has gone to Persepolis. 

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