Atletico Madrid will have a new back-up goalkeeper for the 2020/21 season. Antonio Adán’s move to Sporting Lisbon was swiftly followed by the arrival of Croatian keeper Ivo Grbić who is expected to provide cover for Jan Oblak next term.
Wondering how to pronounce our new goalkeeper’s name? ?
No worries! The man himself teaches you ??
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 20, 2020
DONE DEAL – Atleti sign Grbic
- Previous Club: NK Lokomotiva
- Fee: €7 million
- Contract Expiry: 30th June 2024
- Position: Goalkeeper
- Age: 24
Despite concerns over the club’s financial position during a tough year, Atleti have shown there is cash to spend with the arrival of a new goalkeeper in the shape of 24 year old Ivo Grbic. The fee is believed to amount to as much as €7 million including add-ons with around half of that money paid up front.
He joins following a stellar season in the Croatian top flight with NK Lokomotiva, who surprised many by finishing in 2nd place to qualify for the Champions League. Grbic only joined Lokomotiva in 2018 having struggled for first team opportunities at Hadjuk Split but he quickly made the number one spot his own in Zagreb.
How good is Grbic?
Atleti have clearly seen something they like in Grbic and they do have a pretty good record when recruiting goalkeepers from the Balkans. Nobody is expecting Grbic to challenge Slovenian Jan Oblak for the number one jersey any time soon but the hope will be that he can be a capable deputy and potentially develop into a keeper who could eventually step up in the event that Oblak moves on at some point in the future.
For now though, Grbic is certainly inexperienced. He appeared five times for the Croatian Under-21 side but is yet to make his debut for the senior squad, although he has been called up for Croatia’s UEFA Nations League fixtures in September. He is also yet to play outside of his homeland, nor has he appeared in any European competition so it could be quite a steep learning curve initially in the Spanish capital for the 24 year old.