Chelsea wonderkid Pasalic wins Croatian award

Soon-to-be Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic has won the Young Player of the Year award in Croatia, despite missing out on a spot at the World Cup.

Pasalic, 19, agreed a deal with Chelsea in January, and is set to join the London club this summer. Having been favourably compared to Blues legend Michael Ballack, the midfielder has seen a rapid rise to fame since making his debut for Hajduk Split in the Prva HNL in April 2013.

The German born youngster has since score 11 goals for Split in just 32 games - including recording two goals in each derby against Dinamo Zagreb and RNK Split.

The pinnacle of his burgeoning career was his inclusion in Niko Kovac's 30-man preliminary squad for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, supplanting recent Barcelona signing Alen Halilovic as Croatia's brightest talent. Although he failed to make the final 23-man squad travelling to the finals tournament in Brazil, with Kovac choosing experience over youth, Pasalic received an award from league officials highlighting his importance in Croatia's footballing future.

Croatian media outlet HRT named Pasalic as the Young Player of the League, whilst also awarding him a place in the Prva HNL Best XI.

Despite rumours of a loan move away from Stamford Bridge in the coming season, Blues fans will be hoping that the youngster's career follows the sharp upward trajectory that it is currently taking, and that he can soon make an impact in the Premier League.

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