Date of Birth: 17.01.1998 (18 years old)
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Team: Lokomotiva Zagreb
Value: 150,000 €
Contract Until: 15.06.2020
Lovro Majer started off his football career in his childhood in the youth academy of Dinamo Zagreb. Until he was 12 years old he was a part of the youth academy, prior to leaving and playing football in various local academies. After joining the academy of Lokomotiva as he was 15, he was able to prove himself after 3 years and he signed at the beginning of 2016/2017 season his first professional contract prior to getting minutes in the main squad.
His first professional matches for Lokomotiva Zagreb were qualification round matches in Europe League. Even though his excitement was noticeable, his ball control and maturity was remarkable considering his young age. But his first major remarkable performance was during the league match against Slaven Belupo. After trailing 2-0 after the first half, Majer came on in the second half to provide 1 goal and 2 assists to lead his team to victory. Since this match he plays for his team regularly, providing 2 goals and 6 assists in 13 league and domestic cup matches.
Because of his performances, he got selected to Croatia U19 national team and he was able to contribute straightaway: Against two of three opponents, which were objectively weaker (Cyprus and Faroe Islands), Majer scored a goal and provided two assists.
We can tell that Majer is a pure playmaking midfielder. Using his ball control, calmness, quick-thinking and vision, he demands to get the ball and provides his teammates with accurate passes. Mostly he plays as the centre of a midfield consisting three midfielders like 4-2-3-1 formation. He also sometimes plays as the left midfielder in 4-3-3 formation.
Strengths (Creativity, Ball Control, Calmness, Passing Abilities, Interceptions, Decision Making, Off-ball Game, Team Play, Work Rate, Set Plays)
Lovro Majer is a pure playmaker. Just like any good playmaker he likes to have the ball and tries to make the right passes. Even though he demands to have to ball, he is capable to perform in the best possible way as a playmaker. Off-ball, he tries to make himself free to get the ball, if necessary he even gets the ball next to his centre-backs so his team’s attack does not get stuck. His first touch is very soft, so he does not lose time in the process of ball control. This is why Majer is already the player with most touches for Lokomativa.
After being passed, Majer tries to make accurate passes for his teammates. He is a perfect team player, his average of 55 passes is a team-high statistic. He is very calm when he has the ball, even when he has no time to think about to make a decision, he is mostly accurate with his passes (79% pass rate success). Even though most of his passes occur in the half of the opposition, his passing rate is still very high. He always looks up to his teammates to make the perfect pass, he is never looking at the ball whilst passing. For his age, his vision is impressive and it can be told that it is getting better game by game.
Even though his statistics show that his dribbling attempts are very high, it should be stated that these dribblings are mostly to create space and earn additional time to make the perfect pass for his teammates. These dribblings are mostly sudden and not necessarily fast-paced, which help him go past by his opponents and create himself open space as well as new available pass options. Per game, he attempts six dribblings which he is 74% successful of.
Defensively he is also very successful at intercepting. Rather than trying to win possession in a physical encounter, his surprise and sudden actions for an offensive player on the defensive end help him intercepting the opponent. It is actually very unusual, that a footballer playing the same position as him would attempt 5 interceptions and also be successful at 3 of those. Majer is a very mature player especially when it comes to mentality, he always causes trouble for his opponents on both ends of the game with his surprise actions.
For his team Lokomotiva, he is the one taking all free kicks and corner kicks, especially his corner kicks are very dangerous for the opposition. He already has 2 assists from set pieces, but he can of course develop these skills further.
Weaknesses (Strength, Balance, Pace, Aerial Challenges, Single Foot)
It is not possible to label Lovro Majer as a strong player. In some occasions, especially in challenges, the lack of strength is to be seen. For instance this weakness prevents him to get a pass whilst being challenged by a stronger defender as he backs him. Because his balance is weak, he does not prefer to get a pass whilst he is challenged by a defender. If he can gain weight, put some muscle mass and thus become stronger, he can be more ready for Europe’s top notch leagues.
Majer is not a very slow player, however his pace is not as good as his other traits. To be successful in Europe’s important leagues, he should improve his pace..
Even though his position does not require him to be successful in aerial challenges, it still should be mentioned that he is not good at these.
One of the major weaknesses of Lovro Majer is the fact that he is only using his strong foot. With his left foot, he can pass very accurately, shoot like a rocket and he also dribbles with his left foot. However he only uses his right foot, which is his weak foot, only if it is necessary. If he improves his weak foot, his attacking abilities would improve drastically.
Similar players: Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Rafael van der Vaart (FC Midtjylland), Diego (Flamengo)
Lovro Majer is very similar to Oğuzhan Özyakup comparing his general and physical characteristics. Especially his desire to be a playmaker, a team player and his ability to think quickly is very similar to Oğuzhan. His high technique and his creativity at set pieces remind a young Van der Vaart. The defensive traits of Majer and Diego from Flamengo are also very comparable.