Jose Mourinho says that he has “everything a young player should have”, and it seems that several of Europe’s top clubs agree. Rene Krihin has, for some time, been one of the world’s most sought-after and talked-about youngsters. Inter Milan won the race for his signature when he was just 16 and have spent much of the time since fending off interest from some of Europe’s biggest spenders.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool were all confirmed to have been considering a £7 million move for the 6ft 3ins midfielder before he made good on his oft-stated commitment to I Nerazzurri by agreeing a new four-year deal at the turn of the year. This has been Krhin’s breakthrough season, with Mourinho – having taken him on the club’s pre-season tour of America – fielding him in four Serie A matches, including a first start in Inter’s 2-0 win over Livorno on 1 November.
At international level, Matjaz Kek has been keen to avoid rushing the youngster’s development and has carefully managed his graduation to the senior set-up. Krhin played just five minutes of Slovenia’s FIFA World Cup 2010™ qualifiers, in the 3-0 win over San Marion, having made his debut the month before as a second half substitute in the 2-1 friendly defeat by England.
Kek may be treading carefully with this midfield prodigy, but there is no question that he shares the widespread belief that Slovenia have a player destined for greatness. Krhin has subsequently added to his cap collection with another substitute’s appearance in the 4-1 friendly win over Qatar, and while time is running out to displace his more experienced midfield rivals in Kek’s starting line-up, this is a youngster who remains well worth watching at South Africa 2010.