Meet Josip Stanisic, the latest addition to Bayer Leverkusen's squad on a season-long loan deal from Bayern Munich. | Sportsmonks

Meet Josip Stanisic, the latest addition to Bayer Leverkusen’s squad on a season-long loan deal from Bayern Munich.

The versatile 23-year-old Croatian, born on April 2, 2000, is set to showcase his talents under the guidance of coach Xabi Alonso at the BayArena. Here’s an insight into this promising young player:

Position: Centre-back/right-back
Country: Croatia (11 international caps)

Stanisic honed his skills in the youth ranks of 1860 Munich and Fürstenfeldbrück before joining Bayern in 2017. He was part of Bayern’s U17 and 3. Liga championship-winning teams in the 2016/17 and 2019/20 seasons, respectively. Standing at 6 feet 1 inch, he made his senior debut against Union Berlin on April 10, 2021, filling in for the suspended Alphonso Davies at left-back. Stanisic has demonstrated his versatility by playing on the right side of defense, his preferred center-back role, and even as a defensive midfielder. During his first 41 competitive appearances for Bayern, he contributed a goal and an assist.

In the 2022/23 season, the adaptable defender featured in 23 matches across various competitions for Bayern, including eight out of the team’s 10 UEFA Champions League fixtures. His increased playing time also earned him a spot in the Croatian national team, and he currently boasts 11 caps. Among his international highlights, Stanisic played a pivotal role in Croatia’s victory over Morocco in the third-place playoff at the 2023 FIFA World Cup, as well as in Croatia’s appearance in the 2023 UEFA Nations League final, despite their narrow penalty shootout loss to Spain.

Playing style: Comparable to Benjamin Pavard

Stanisic’s style of play bears resemblances to that of Benjamin Pavard. Like the 2018 World Cup winner from Bayern, Stanisic offers a solid defensive presence while also providing an attacking dimension to his team. This is evident from his three goals and two assists in 44 appearances for the U19 team.

Stanisic’s international journey saw him navigate a choice between Germany and Croatia, ultimately embracing his Croatian heritage. His decision was influenced by his family roots in Slavonski Brod, Croatia’s eastern city.

Bayer sporting director Simon Rolfes commends Stanisic, stating, “Josip Stanisic is already very experienced in the Bundesliga and Champions League. He’s technically strong, intelligent, can play with both feet and in several defensive positions.” Rolfes believes Stanisic’s commitment will intensify competition within the squad and elevate its quality.

Stanisic himself expresses excitement about joining Bayer, recognizing the team’s strong lineup and sharing his anticipation for the upcoming season.

Former Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann reflects positively on Stanisic’s performance, praising his reliability, offensive contributions, and defensive prowess during his start for Bayern on Matchday 1 of the 2021/22 season.

By-Sahiba Suri

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