In Profile: Matija Sarkic

With it now officially announced that Matija Sarkic is a Blue, get the lowdown on Lee Bowyer's latest signing.

1) Sarkic was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, on July 23 1997.

2) The goalkeeper received a first-rate footballing education with Anderlecht, graduating from the Purple and White’s Academy in the Belgium capital of Brussels.

3) He then joined Aston Villa on a three-year deal in the summer of 2015, helping their Under-21s side to reach the division two play-off final.

4) This contract was subsequently extended until 2020, with the Montenegrin training alongside the First Team and being involved as either a substitute or training goalkeeper on matchdays.

5) A half-season loan to Wigan Athletic was agreed in August 2017, where he would appear in both the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy before joining Stratford Town on a youth loan before Christmas.

6) The 2017-18 term would end on the South Coast for Sarkic after he was drafted in by Havant and Waterlooville when the Hawks suffered injuries in the goalkeeping department.

7) His next loan spell would take him north of the border and to Livingston for a run of 18 appearances in the Scottish Premiership.

8) In seven of these outings Sarkic kept a clean sheet, including ensuring Celtic drew a blank on his debut as Livi beat the title holders.

9) This period of his career coincided with a senior international bow and another shutout as Montenegro beat Belarus 2-0 in November 2019.

10) Upon leaving the Claret quarter of the Second City, Sarkic signed a three-year contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

11) However, he would spend the 2020/21 season along the M54 on loan with Shrewsbury Town, making 29 appearances.

12) This spell at New Meadow included a run of 11 clean sheets, with Sarkic conceding less than a goal a game for the League One side.

13) With Blues keen to bolster their goalkeeping resources, the 24-year-old was brought in by Bowyer for a trial period during the current pre-season.

14) Sarkic first appeared in the 0-3 victory over Cheltenham Town, completing a further 90 minutes against both Barrow AFC and Northampton Town as a trialist.

15) On Monday 26 July, it was announced that Sarkic had agreed terms on a season-long loan in B9 to become the eighth summer arrival at Blues.