Why former Manchester United and Lazio star is backing Zivkovic to succeed at Sheffield United

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam believes countryman Richairo Zivkovic has all the attributes to be a success at Sheffield United.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 1:41 pm

Zivkovic arrived at Bramall Lane on a six-month loan from Chinese club Changchun Yatai on Thursday, one of five January signings made by Chris Wilder as he looks to build on an impressive first half to the season.

Stam, who won 67 caps for Holland, was a coach at Ajax’s famed youth set-up when the 23-year-old joined the Dutch giants from fellow Eredivisie side Groningen in 2014.

But Zivkovic failed to establish himself at the Amsterdam ArenA and was loaned to Willem II and FC Utrecht before joining Belgian side Oostende in 2017 and then moving to China last February.

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However, Stam believes the former Holland under-21 international can fulfil his potential under Wilder.

“I worked with him at Ajax when I coached the under 23s and he’d just joined the club because he was one of the biggest talents in Holland at the time,” said Stam, speaking to Sky Sports News.

“He had training sessions with me and he played in my team for the under 23s and we were preparing him to be ready for the first time, but he struggled a little bit to get into the first team.

“But he’s got tremendous pace. If he needs to, (he can) play in the system that Sheffield United is doing from dropping in sometimes and covering that space and going forward. I can understand why they were looking for him.”

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder welcomes new signing Richairo Zivkovic to Bramall Lane. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Former Manchester United and Holland defender Jaap Stam believes Richairo Zivkovic can be a success at Sheffield United. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)