Missing out in 2016 may prove for the best for Aston Villa and Lovre Kalinic
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Missing out in 2016 may prove for the best for Aston Villa and Lovre Kalinic

Back in January 2016, it looked like Aston Villa had signed the Croatian talent Lovre Kalinic. The giant goalkeeper had been in talks with Villa for some time and the Daily Mail reported that a £4.9 million fee had been agreed between Villa and his club, Hajduk Split.

It soon emerged however that Kalinic would not be making the move. As reported by Index, Kalinic did not have the requisite qualifications to be eligible for a work permit to play football in the UK.

That summer Aston Villa signed Italian Pierluigi Gollini and the goalkeeper problem has not yet been permanently solved.

But surely missing out on Kalinic back in 2016 is now a blessing in disguise?

ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 27: Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic of Croatia gestures during the international friendly match between Mexico and Croatia at AT&T Stadium on March 27, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Kalinic would have joined Remi Garde’s Aston Villa side. That team was doomed to relegation. Kalinic would not have prevented that single-handedly. David De Gea or Manuel Neuer could not have pulled off that feat.

The Croatian would have then been part of an unsettled Aston Villa under Roberto Di Matteo and then Steve Bruce would have entered the fray. It would have been tumultuous, especially for a goalkeeper and, long-term, may have stagnated his development.

Instead, Kalinic joined KAA Gent in Belgium and has gone on to become the best keeper in the Belgian league.

It appears he will cost a bit more than three years ago. The Telegraph suggests he will cost £7 million, as opposed to the £4.9m of 2016. That is hardly a big increase in the now overly inflated goalkeeper market.

If Kalinic can help take Aston Villa back to the Premier League, then the best things really do come to those who wait.

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