5 interesting facts about Arsenal target Nemanja Pejčinović

Jack Beresford takes a closer look at former Nice defender Nemanja Pejčinović, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the Premier League.

Nemanja Pejčinović may not be a household name to many Premier League fans, but after opting against extending his four-year stay in Ligue 1 with Nice, the defender could be about to sign for Arsenal.

But what do we really know about the Serbian – is he just the new Igor Stepanovs? Here are five fascinating facts about the would-be Gunner.

His origins

Pejčinović came through the ranks at FK Rad, the Serbia Superliga side where the likes of Vladimir Jugovic, Ljubinko Drulovic and Miroslav Djukic started their careers. The defender evidently impressed those at the Belgrade club, rising through the ranks to become captain.

His German nightmare

The 26-year-old endured an ill-fated spell in the Bundesliga on loan at Hertha Berlin in 2009. Pejčinović played 16 times for the Berliners in a disastrous season in which they were relegated, despite finishing the previous campaign in fourth. The lowlight of his spell in Germany came in a Europa League playoff with Brondby in which he scored an own goal, gifting the Danes a 2-1 first-leg victory.

His youth team experiences

Despite impressing for Nice, Pejčinović has so far picked up just two caps for the Serbia national team. The defender did play for Serbia at the 2009 European Under-21 Football Championship in Sweden though and while his team failed to progress past the group stage Pejčinović did impress during two 0-0 draws against Belarus and Italy, with the latter game seeing him keep opposite number Mario Balotelli at bay.

His international absence

The origins of Pejčinović’s international absence may lie in an incident from November 2013 when the defender first made his full debut for the Serbia national team. Upon his return to Nice, the 26-year-old was fined by the Ligue 1 club after featuring in a specially-arranged friendly match in which he played as part of a special Serbia B team picked to play against the full international side. Pejčinović has not played for the national team since.

His disciplinary record

Despite earning a reputation as a tough-tackling centre-back in France, where he has previously clashed with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pejčinović has never received a red card during his nine-year career as a professional. In 26 appearances for Nice last term, the Serbian picked up just three yellow cards.

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