Mislav Oršić: The once highly-regarded Croatian talent re-vitalizing his career at Jeonnam

One of the most exciting foreign players in the K-League this season is the Croatian attacking midfielder Mislav Oršić. The twenty-two year-old is currently playing for Jeonnam Dragons, having been loaned to them from Croatian side HNK Rijeka.

He has impressed in his twelve games for Jeonnam, and has scored twice so far this season. His most recent goal was in the two-one win against Incheon United on June 6th, his other goal was in the three-two defeat to Jeju United where he curled a right-footed shot into the far corner from twenty yards out after first winning a fifty-fifty challenge and then using his agility to beat one of Jeju’s defenders.

Oršić also assisted Jeonnam’s second goal in  that game where they fought back from a poor first half to level the scored at two-all before eventually conceding a goal in the 88th minute to lose three-two.

Oršić, a former Croatian under-21 international, first burst onto the scene at then Croatian top-flight team NK Inter Zaprešić where he scored twelve goals in thirty-three appearances, attracting interest from top flight clubs around Europe, with Premier League side Crystal Palace close to signing him.

In the end he signed for Italian Serie-B side Spezia Calcio where he struggled to break into the side, making only nine appearances in the 2013/14 season. At the end of the season he returned to Croatia, joining HNK Rijeka, one of Croatia’s biggest clubs.

However, HNK Rijeka decided to loan the young midfielder out, first to Slovenian side NK Celje, where he made sixteen appearances in 2014, scoring twice, before moving to South Korea in the New Year in time for the start of the 2015 K-League season.

His loan runs until the end of this year’s K-League season although Jeonnam reportedly have the option of making the loan permanent.

Whether he will stay in Korea past the end of the season remains to be seen, but based on his start to the season Jeonnam’s fans will certainly miss him if he returns to Europe.


Written by Steven Price

Check out more of his work on everything South Korean football at the excellent K-League Footy

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