- Position: Left-midfield, Left-back, Left-wing;
- Born: Mostar, January 1986 (age 28);
- Club: S.S. Lazio (2011-present);
- Former: Young Boys (2010-2011), Grasshopper (2008-2010), Bellinzona (2006-2008), Chur 97 (2003-2006);
- International: Bosnia & Herzigovina (33 caps, 1 goal),
- 2014 Serie A Statistics: 28 games, 6 goals, 3 assists,
- Estimated Value: €10-15m
Versatile and effective anywhere on the left-flank, Senad Lulić has established himself as one of Lazio’s most important players, and has caught the eye of some of Italy’s largest clubs.
Born in Mostar, Herzegovina (formerly Yugoslavia), Lulić’s family moved to Switzerland to escape the Bosnian War – it was there he began his footballing career. His teenage years were spent at Chur 97 in the Swiss lower leagues, before he transferred to Bellinzona in 2006 and, later, Grasshoppers in 2008. It was at this time he received his first call up to the national team, but a player boycott over the firing of the Manager, Meho Kodro, meant it was two years until he received his next cap. Lulic’s stock continued to rise domestically, though, and after a final season in Switzerland with Young Boys, a €3.5m move to Lazio was finalised in July 2011.
He adapted quickly to the demands of Serie A and has earned a reputation for scoring important goals. His most crucial to date, and one that has written his name into Lazio club history, was the only goal in the first all-Roman Coppa Italia final in 2013 – this earning Lazio a place in the Europa League at the expensive of city rivals AS Roma.
Defensively sound, Lulic is equally comfortable at left back as he is further forward. Galloping overlapping runs and smart crossing are two of his trademarks, along with a fearsome shooting with either foot. Whilst unlikely to beat his man one-on-one, the timing of his forward runs and his great stamina make him a threat to tiring or stretched defences. Whilst I would not go so far as to call Lulic indisciplined, he does have a tendency to pick up a yellow card or two.
Now firmly established in the national team set up, injuries aside, he is sure to be travelling with Bosnia & Herzegovina to Brazil. His good relationship with Miralem Pjanić will be key to providing Edin Džeko with the service to make the Zmajevi a threat to anyone they face.
Persistent rumours circulate regarding a summer move to Juventus – this would most likely see him in competition with Kwadwo Asamoah on the left side of Juventus’ 3-5-2, or at left back if they decide to move to a 4-3-3 for next season.
He is one of my favourite players to watch in Serie A as he offers a range of skills in a number of positions, making him a fine example of the modern day wide player. Look out for his performances for Bosnia & Herzegovina against Argentina, Nigeria, and Iran in Group F of this summer’s World Cup.
© Daniel Wegher, 2014