Phoenix confirm signing of attacking midfielder Matija Ljujic

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NZN

Wellington Phoenix have signed of Serbian attacking midfielder Matija Ljujic until the end of the season.

Phoenix fans

Phoenix fans

Source: Photosport

The 24-year-old had already played five seasons in the Serbian top two divisions before switching to Lithuanian champions Zalgiris, where he made his Champions League debut this season.

Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic says the midfielder comes with a top pedigree and represents an important addition to his squad.

"He's a pro-active player, he has good quality and a strong winning mentality - he won the championship in Lithuania and produced the most assists in the team," he said in a statement.

"Matija is the product of the best youth academy in Serbia (Partizan Belgrade), one of the best in Europe, so he comes with great technical skill and basics, he will contribute strongly with final passes to create goals."

Ljujic says the chance to join Phoenix was a welcome opportunity to further develop himself as a player.

"I am thankful for the chance to come to Wellington, I heard a lot of good things about the club, the coach and the players. I have been here two days but already the players accept me very well.

"While I was waiting [for a visa] in Serbia I watched some games of Phoenix - this is a good team with good promise, perhaps some moments of concentration. I want to do my best to help the club."

Ljujic and Nix striker Andrija Kaludjerovic played together at Zalgiris, and Ljujic says they have good connection on and off the pitch.

Ljujic will join the matchday squad for Wellington's game against Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium tomorrow.

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