CROATIA might be at the end of an era with their golden generation all in the twilight of their careers but, fortunately for them, there are a bunch of youngsters on the way who could fill their boots.

The 1. HNL, which is the Croatian top flight, has some interesting youngsters who could spearhead the national team in the future - and provide a good hunting ground for Celtic.

Here, we look closer at three players from the 1. HNL who could prove to be a great fit for Ange Postecoglou's style...

Stipe Biuk (Hajduk Split)

Croatian; 19 years old; Left winger; Right-footed; TransferMarkt Value: £4.05million

Biuk is an exciting young player and has made five appearances for the Croatian Under-21s. The 19-year-old winger has been a consistent name on the team sheet for Hajduk this season and has often started on the left side of a front three or on the left of a three behind the striker. Hajduk have gone with a 4-2-3-1 recently and he has slotted in well in that wide left role.

We will have a look at his creative numbers first and look at his key strengths on that front:

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Biuk loves taking on players and is good at it. His ability to beat players in one-v-ones is one of his strengths. No matter the situation, he isn’t afraid to get on the ball and engage opposition players. Despite delaying moves at times, his close control of the ball and ability to wriggle through tight spaces paired with his exquisite dribbling opens up spaces and better opportunities for his team.

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The move in the picture above summarizes Biuk’s strength on the ball. The young Croatian isn’t a high-volume shot taker but has the technique to cut inside and look for the far corner.

His decision-making is fairly good for a 19-year-old and that is a positive sign for clubs from a 'bigger' league. With his dribbling ability, he does win a fair amount of fouls but often tries to look for fouls by going down easily.

Another part of his game that would need working on is his intensity, especially out of possession. Hajduk are not serial pressers while Biuk himself tends to ease off in his pressing and closing down, as a result often failing to get tight or put enough pressure on his opponent. Despite a lack of intensity in some situations, he does not generally hesitate in tracking back the opposition full-back and providing cover for his team-mates down the flank.

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Finally, Biuk is not a high output player just yet. Be it the final pass or the shot, he is someone who does everything right apart from the last action. This could however be worked on and the fact that he is still in the development phase of his career should be taken into context. Biuk is sure to attract suitors from a top-five European league soon and could prove to be an effective signing for Celtic in the future.

Dario Špikić (Dinamo Zagreb)

Croatian; 22 years old; Right winger; Right-footed; Value: £1.35m

Dinamo Zagreb are the dominant club in Croatia, having won the league every single year but one from the 2005-06 season. The likes of Luka Modrić and Andrej Kramarić are Dinamo products while another name that could potentially be added to that list is Dario Špikić.

He is in the final phase of his youth years - he will turn 23 this March - and despite having not made it into the senior Croatian national team setup he remains an interesting player to watch out for.

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He can be found holding width normally but is someone who loves making runs centrally onto the edge of the box. When his team builds-up play centrally, he tucks into the half-spaces to receive rather than hugging the touchline.

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The Croatian’s creative numbers might not be better than Celtic’s starters but he has put up sufficient numbers to show his quality in attacking situations.

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Špikić likes to dribble and makes penalty-area entries very often. He uses his body well to turn players, has good control and keeps the ball close to his feet as he dribbles. 

He is a high-volume dribbler as the data suggests and, despite lacking electric pace, he uses his ball control to create situations and thread in dangerous passes to the penalty box. He ranks high in crosses attempted, recording 4.04 crosses attempted per 90 in the last calendar year, and is good at delivering high crosses into the far post area in particular.

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However, Špikić really comes to life out of possession. It's where he excels. Let's start with his pressing - he is normally on the move as soon as the ball is in his vicinity. His pressing is intense, he tends to get very tight and use his feet to win back possession for his team. The data shows that he tends to make a large number of fouls but, in context, this is mainly down to his intensity to press and create turnovers for his team.

Špikić might not be a 'highlight-reel player' and has found minutes hard to come by this season but a move could be on the cards in the near future. His ability out of possession is what makes him a potential candidate for Celtic. His energy and intensity combined with Postecoglou’s ability to get the best out of players could make him a smart future addition.

Bartol Franjić (Dinamo Zagreb)

Croatian; 21 years old; Left-back; Left-footed; Value: £4.05m

Bartol Franjić is an exciting full-back in the making with the right amount of balance in his offence and defence. He is a versatile player having played left-back, centre-back and also in midfield on occasion. He likes to occupy central areas of the pitch and tends to make runs into central areas when playing left-back.

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The 21-year old left-back is tactically disciplined and has shown positive signs that he could work as an inverted full-back. Franjić has played as a left-sided centre back in a back three for Dinamo in the past too. We will look at his ability with the ball first:

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He is on the lower side of the spectrum when it comes to crossing as he rarely attempts them. Franjić is not the most technically pleasing player either but he is progressive - it's just with his passing rather than carries. He boasts around 89 per cent pass accuracy and moves the ball into the final third very often. Also, he moves the ball forward more often than most full-backs.

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The defensive side of Franjić’s game also looks above average. He wins a fair amount of duels on the ground as well as in the air, while his defensive positioning is solid regardless of the role he is asked to play.

He tends to push up higher when playing as a wing-back and tucks deeper otherwise. One of his weaknesses is that he gives away cheap fouls (for instance, with shirt pulling). Despite his high fouling rate, he tends to keep the referees happy and doesn’t actually get booked as often as would maybe be expected.

It is, ultimately, a question of whether the Croatian’s long-term position is centre-back or full-back. Either way, Franjić would be a versatile and interesting option to consider for Postecoglou.