Barcelona's Alen Halilovic will flourish at West Ham

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Fans of Premier League outfit West Ham United could see one of the best young players ever pulling on the claret and blue next season.

Barca B's Croatian midfielder Alen Halilovic is the real deal. His moniker of "The Croatian Messi" is well earned and well deserved and for such a young talent, he is a delight to watch.

Hammers fans might recall the last time there was such a buzz about a young player in the East End. During the mid 1990's, Portuguese wonderkid Dani arrived at Upton Park but it was obvious fairly quickly that the move wouldn't end well.

There are no such worries as far as Halilovic is concerned.

New Hammers manager Slaven Bilic knows all about what Halilovic can bring to the table and it's no surprise that he has moved so quickly to try and secure the services of a player who will be wasted in Spain's Segunda B, equivalent to England's League One.

Let's take a look at three reasons why he'll be such a good fit for the East End outfit in 2015/16...


If there is one thing that marks Halilovic out from his contemporaries, it's his ability on the ball.

He is that rare breed of player that gets you off of your seat as soon as he is in possession. There is always expectation and anticipation when the Croat is ion the ball simply because his maturity and skill set is far beyond what we would normally find from an 18-year-old.

Like many of the best players, he seems to glide across the ground when he plays and his style is very easy on the eye.

Adept at finding solutions in even the tightest situations, Halilovic will become a firm crowd favourite.

Plays the right way

If there's one thing that West Ham fans demand it's that football is played the right way. With respect, the east Londoners are no Barcelona but the philosophy is much the same.

The ball is played on the floor and to feet whenever possible.

A Sam Allardyce style of lofting the ball to a big front man for a knock down was always going to have a shelf life with the Hammers and to that end, Bilic bringing in players such as Halilovic will be like a breath of fresh air.

Aside from the odd cross-field 50-yard pass which is almost always delivered with pinpoint accuracy, Halilovic favours the give and go approach.

Short, sharp passes into team mates weaving patterns up field and around opposition defences.


A number of foreign players can't cut it in the Premier League because of the rigours and demands of the same.

The physicality is often a shock to the system and not one which sits well with too many imports.

There are no such worries from Halilovic who's used to such treatment given that often it's the only way defenders can stop him.

Being called the "Croatian Messi" is unfortunate but the similarities in both play and attitude are comparable. No histrionics, just get up and get on with it.

West Ham fans are in for a treat.

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