Five things Hibs fans should know about trialist Ivan Lendric

Everything you need to know about the Croatian free agent striker who Hibs have taken on a week-long trial.

Ivan Lendric, right, featuring for Croatia's under-20s at the World Cup. Picture: AFP/Getty
Ivan Lendric, right, featuring for Croatia's under-20s at the World Cup. Picture: AFP/Getty

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Hibs take Croatian striker Ivan Lendric on trial

He’s well travelled

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The Croatian striker has enjoyed a nomadic existence in his career thus far. In his eight years in the game he’s played in eight different countries. Before he even made a first-team appearance in his native land he was loaned out to Zrinjski in Bosnia, returning one year later to play for his first club, Hajduk Split. Since then he’s also played in Belgium, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Greece and France. It’s actually nine different countries if you count his very short spell in Moldova, where he featured once on the bench for Milsami.

He’s been his most prolific in Bosnia

It’s across the Croatian border where Lendri has been his most effective. During the aforementioned spell at Zrinjski, he netted 16 goals in 28 games. Not bad for a 19-year-old and it helped cement his place in the Croatia under-20 and under-21 sides. He even represented them at the under-20 World Cup, where he scored once in three games.

However, he’s spent a long time failing to live up to that early promise. He fell well short of netting into double figures at his next seven clubs, where he would routinely play fewer than 1000 minutes before setting off again.

He was the top goalscorer in the 2016/17 season

He managed to (briefly) get his career back on track with Zelijeznicar. Across 18 months he scored regularly for the Bosnian side, finishing top of the goalscorer’s charts in the 2016/17 season.

The obvious caveat is the standard of the league. While the Scottish league is the lowly position of 27th in the Uefa coefficient table, Bosnia and Herzegovina is away down in 40th. That’s comparable to the likes of the League of Ireland and Lithuania. This did not put of Lens, however, who paid 300,000 euros for his transfer. Though he signed a three-year deal, he was released after one season.

He’s a fox in the box

Of the 20 goals in scored in all competitions for Zelijeznicar, nine of those were from inside the six-yard box. In fact, all of his goals were scored from 12 yards or closer. From watching each and every one of his strikes, his preferred method of finding the back of the net is to pounce on a second ball from a set-piece.

His 12 shots from outside the box (across the 2016/17 season) placed him among the most reticent of forwards to shoot from distance.

He’s different to Jamie Maclaren

While Hibs fans may wonder if he’s the next Jamie Maclaren, considering his predatory instincts, he’s quite different to the Australian in many respects. Firstly, he doesn’t have the quickness of the striker who spent the second half of last season at Easter Road. He is taller, though, standing at over 6ft, making him a bigger threat in the air. His 12 headed attempts at goal placed him fifth overall for strikers in Liga 12 in the 2016/17 season.

That’s not to say he’s slow, as he’s still fairly mobile. He’s just one of those players who’s got a lot of tools in his locker, but few that particularly stand out (aside from his ability to sniff out a chance). His touch, movement, heading ability, strength, link play and technique could all be described as “decent enough”.