Who is the player
Filip Kostić is a 29-year-old left-footed player born in Kragujevac, central region of Serbia, who is 1.81 meters tall and weighs 82kg.
He plays as a midefielder and also as a winger but, we’ll see further on this article, he can occupy the whole left side of the pitch, because of his attributes.
Even before Juventus acquire him, the player already have been attracting the attention of the Italian football, as reported back in 2021 when Lazio almost acquired him from Eintracht Frankfurt. So he is not an unknown player in the scouts observations of the Italian clubs.
Filip played for 6 clubs in his entire career as a professional player. He started at the Serbian club FK Radnički 1923 back in 2010-11 season at the age of 17 and he spent two seasons at the club before moving to the Eredivisie where he played for Groningen, the same club that revealed Arjen Robben, from 2012 to 2014.
After the experience in the dutch league he moved to Germany, where he played most part of his career, from 2014 to recent days, specifically for three clubs: VfB Stuttgart (two seasons), Hamburger SV (two seasons) and Eintracht Frankfurt (four seasons).
For the National team he took place in 60 matches (total): 4 for the U19, 8 for the U21 and 48 for the principal squad.
Eintracht Frankfurt-Juventus Negotiation
As reported by Giovanni Albanese at the Gazzetta Dello Sport the negotiation that allowed Filip to become the newest Vecchia Signora’s acquisition was closed by the amount of €17 million (€13m tax plus €4m in bonuses).and the signed a three-year contract.
Kostic expierenced many roles during his professional career but none of them fitted him well than the Left Winger (LW) or the Left Midfielder (LM). Actualy those are roles that he played the most, 346 games total: 182 matches as a LW and 164 matches as LM.
As you can see in Figure 1, down below, Filip is clearly a left side player or in italian: “il tuttofascia sinistra”
Figure 1: Heat Map of Filip Kostic from 2015-16 to 2021-22 seasons that shows he preference of playing in the left side of the pitch.
Because of his discipline and natural physical strength, he is capable to cover the whole left side of the pitch.
In the 2016-17 season and, mainly, the 2017-18 season, we can see a little bit more advanced red spots areas on the left side, also more central and right side red marks indicating that he could be trying a more versatile approach of his game.
It’s important to remark that even he is not a natural inverted winger, he already played like this in 18 times, as we can see on in Figure 2 (down below).
Figure 2: quantitative of the matches played per roles in Filip’s total career.
As I mentioned before, Kostic has several attributes that makes him an interessant player. The most characteristic are: his phisycal strength (Figure 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b), assotiative play with his teammates (Figure 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b), attacking open spaces (Figure 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b), possession under opponent’s pressure (Figure 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b), and assists, mainly, by middle-long passes.
Figure 3a: attacking open spaces under pressure.
Figure 3b: attacking open spaces under pressure.
Figure 4a: associative play and physical distute.
Figure 4b: associative play and physical distute.
Figure 5a:associative play, physical strength and attacking spaces.
Figure 5b: associative play, physical strength and attacking spaces.
As we can see, Kostic can be understood as a real “machine”. Because of his strength he’s totally able to cover all over the flank, progressing with or without the ball for long distances, make associative play with teammates while performing runs.
Even so, once he reach the final third of the pitch he performs strong finishing shots (other of his qualities even if it’s not something that draws attention) but, normally, he uses his other natural talent: the assists, mainly by crosses (landing or aereal). And that’s it’s very interesting because it can be a huge help to Vlahovic also because Filip knows Dusan and vice-versa.
As for the defensive actions Filip has good facility to intercept passes and shots, again, that’s because his natural physical strength. But is not quite a good tackler, so this can be understood as a negative point of attention.
Most part of the numbers data came from FBREF but some others came from Opta Paulo.
Kostic is a player that managers can count on him. That statement is clearly and easily demonstrated by his appearences numbers in his entire career (370), we see that he started 329 of them (88,92%) and in 326,6 (88,27%) of them he remained on the pitch the full match.
Another impressive quantification are the number of goals and assists. Filip, in 370 appearences so far, scored 59 goals (0,16 mean per game) and made 90 assists (0,24 mean per game). If we look his numbers only at Frankfurt, his last club, we see that he made 129 appearences in all five seasons in Bundesliga, scored 18 goals (the expected was 17,6) and made 44 assists (the expected was 40). Also, in 2018-19 he was the top 3 player with more assists (44) in all big-5 leagues.
In the 2021-22 season Kostic was the player that created more chances (87) and made more crosses while in action (218) in the world.
Bench marks comparison
If we take Perisic as a Serie A benchmark for comparison we see some similarities in their styles. For example: Kostic has more assists (75) than Perisic (66) in his entire carreer. Perisic scored more goals (116) than Kostic (44) but with far more shots for that (447) against (365), so, Kostic has an efficiency of 33,7% while Perisic has 31,3%.
Kostic is a player that creates more chances, if we look the shot-creation action unit for example, he has a register of 536 units while Perisic 427. Also, he has better numbers in possesion attributes like dribbles succeded (55%) against (51,4%) and carries the ball much more (5763) against (4752) and for far more distances (35096m) against (28830m).
Both players don’t have impressive numbers in defensive actions but Kostic better number for percentage of opponents tackled (33,1%) while Perisic (28,6%) and successful pressure percentage (31,1%) against (27,7%) and, specially for blocks.
Another relevant topic is that Filip Kostic is an unscathed player. Since 2018-19 till now he missed only 8 matches at Frankfurt due to (Coronavirus, Influenza, Low grade knee problems, Achilles Tendon problems).
How would he fit under Allegri’s System
With all characteristics showed before is it possible to say that if Allegri is intending to use Kostic as a left wing back midfielder than he needs to think in use three defenders because even we know that Kostic has physical attributes he is not a natural tackler or defender. So in that case, Massimiliano should go for a 3-5-2 or even 3-4-3.
Kostic should fit perfectly Allegri’s needs for an athlete that can occupy the whole flank in all game phases (with or without ball), physically strong, tactically disciplined, and, mainly, a player capable of potentialize Vlahovic as a striker.