It’s fair to say Filip Djuricic didn’t exactly make a great impact at Southampton. Arriving at St Mary’s from Benfica on loan in 2015, with a view to making the move permanent, Djuricic told the English media: “I’m here to help the team reach the Champions League and after that it’s my goal to stay here if at all possible.”
Around the same time, he was telling the Portuguese media that staying at Southampton wasn’t his priority: “Benfica is my club. In my head, I’m a Benfica player. Let’s see what happens in the summer. It’s the ideal club for a player. It’s the level of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus, Milan… I want to win titles, play the Champions League and do something at a big club. I wouldn’t want to leave Benfica without leaving a mark. I like Benfica. However, if my happiness is in another place, I have to move on.”
Djuricic was a total flop at Southampton, and the club shipped him out as soon as they could. Blaming more than one Benfica manager for not being fair with him, Djuricic went on another loan, this time to Anderlecht.
That worked out just as badly as the Southampton move, with Djuricic’s complaining to the media and suggesting he was better than playing for the club.
Southampton fans will nod knowingly at the player’s attitude.
A loan to Sampdoria followed, and that didn’t go much better but the club saw enough in training to take a punt and made the move from Benfica permanent in January.
Since then Djuricic has put in two decent performances against Bologna and AC Milan, and things are looking up. Of course it’s still a small step for the confident Southampton, Benfica, Anderlecht and Mainz flop, but perhaps there’s been a change in attitude.
If Djuricic hadn’t arrived at Southampton feeling hard done to, and clearly not committed to the loan, then things could have turned out quite differently.
His chances are running out, the 25 year old needs to take this one.