Richario Zivkovic followed in the footsteps of Luis Suarez when he swapped Groningen for Ajax in 2014. But, while Suarez shone in Amsterdam, going on to play for Liverpool and Barcelona after establishing himself as one of the world’s elite, Zivkovic’s journey has panned out a little differently.
According to Goal, Ajax beat Barcelona, Manchester City, PSG and Liverpool to the signing of the then 17-year-old wonder kid. Celtic, too, were interested.
At least that is according to former Hoops scout John Park.
“Richairo Zivkovic was another player I liked with them at that time, he was a striker formed at Groningen,” Park told the Daily Record of the striker while discussing the deal that saw Virgil van Dijk leave the Green and Whites for Celtic Park.
Yet while Van Dijk’s stellar spell at Celtic paved the way for him to become arguably the world’s best defender, and certainly the most expensive, it is tempting to wonder what would have happened to Zivkovic in Glasgow.
Because his highly-anticipated move to Ajax didn’t go to plan. He played just seven Eredivisie games for the Champions League quarter-finalists, scoring just once.
And after ill-fated loan spell at Willem II and Utrecht that made him look less Luis Suarez and more Freddy Adu, Zivkovic is now in China after another disappointing spell in Belgium with KV Oostende.
The 22-year-old joined Changchun Yatai in February. This one-time wonderkid looks like another forgotten talent who has fallen by the wayside. But could things have been different if John Park had got his man?