Radio Vila-real reports that Bojan Jokic’s contract with Villarreal, which runs until June 2017, will be terminated and he will be free to find employment elsewhere. (This may be a surprise to some of you who thought he had already left, as he has not appeared in a team call this season).
Jokic has been a regular at left back for Slovenia for many years, so when we picked him up on a free transfer from Chievo Verona in June 2013 and signed him to a four-year deal, hopes were high he could become a regular in yellow. However, it never happened. Jaume Costa has claimed left back as his own for now, our future left back is Adrián Marín, and when we signed Jose Angel to a one-year deal this summer, that was a sign we had no plans for Jokic.
At the moment he is sidelined with a foot injury, and since his contract expires in June anyhow, it’s hard to imagine we could have found anyone to take him on loan for half a season (remember, we loaned him to Nottingham Forest last January).
Interestingly enough, transfermarkt lists the man he replaced, Joan Oriol, as a ‘comparable player’ and that’s probably right. Like Oriol, Jokic had his moments but overall just didn’t provide enough to break into the first team on a permanent basis.
In 2013-14 Jokic did see a reasonable amount of action for Villarreal—14 league starts, and 4 Copa del Rey appearances—but a knee injury sidelined him at the start of the following season, and he didn’t play a lot after that.
Jokic has appeared in only 24 La Liga matches over four years, with nine yellows and a red card his main statistical output. He’s had matches in that span where he has seemed to be pretty good in supporting the attack on the left and has made some excellent contributions, he has had other matches where he has just been a yellow card waiting to happen.
In fairness to him, like most players, he will play his best when he can play regularly. Admittedly the English Championship is a step down from La Liga, but he played 20 matches in half a season at Forest and seemed to fit in much better there. There had been talk of Forest signing him in the summer, but nothing materialized.
I don’t know exactly how terminating a contract like this so close to its end works—whether the club just pays him the remaining sums due and cuts him loose—but in any event the financial impact of this move is very small.
We wish Bojan well in his future endeavours.