It's fair to say Barcelona starlet Bojan hasn't lived up to bloated expectations, after bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old. Bojan had all the attributes to succeed at the Camp Nou, showcasing pace, intelligence and composure, but after a succession of average loan moves to Roma, Milan and Ajax, the 23-year-old is yet to prove himself at the top level.
Luís Enrique has made it clear to Bojan that his chances of first-team football at Barça remain non-existent, so for the fourth successive campaign he looks set to leave the Camp Nou on a season-long loan.
Running out of time
Roma and Milan refused to take up options to sign Bojan on a permanent basis, whilst Ajax's decided against taking the Spaniard on loan for another season, leaving him free to explore other options.
Despite never scoring more than nine goals in a season, a feat achieved in his very first year at Barcelona, Bojan is reportedly being chased by Stoke City and Deportivo La Coruña, with both sides keen to unlock his potential.
Premier League lifeline?
Joining Stoke would be another major gamble for Bojan, at a stage in his career where he needs to start showcasing consistent talent. The cliche about Stoke being a long-ball team no longer rings true, but nevertheless a 5ft 7in striker, not built in the same stocky manner as Sergio Agüero could struggle against the physicality of English defences.
In newcomer Mame Biram Diouf, Stoke have a striker to build their attack around, potentially leaving Bojan short of regular starts.
Revival at the Riazor?
Dépor provide a better option for Bojan. Despite their recent promotion from the Segunda Divisíon, the Galician's struggled to score, with Borja Bastón finishing as top scorer on ten goals. Borja has returned to his parent club Atlético Madrid, leaving Dépor short of a goalscorer once again.
New manager Victor Fernández was forthcoming in his praise for Bojan last week, stating: "He’s a player I love and he would fit in perfectly with the profile we’re looking for. Here, he could find a suitable place to achieve his definitive explosion as a player."
There have been fleeting glimpses of an aforementioned definitive explosion, for example when he left Gonzalo Rodriguez chasing shadows against Villarreal in 2010, but nothing on a consistent basis.
With a manger that believes in him, and a fellow 23-year-old Camp Nou rejecT in Isaac Cuenca already at the club, it would be a major mistake if Bojan joined Stoke City over Dépor. His career is crying out for stability, so by staying in Spain Bojan can avoid the distractions of learning English and settling into a new country, and simply focus on his football.
Will 2014 be the year Bojan re-emerges as a top-level player? Let's hope so!