Newly-promoted Premier League side Aston Villa are reportedly willing to offload goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic despite signing the Croatian in January – and Leeds United have got to consider a move.
Kalinic, 29, joined Villa in January for £7million (Telegraph) from Gent after travelling to Russia last summer to represent Croatia at the World Cup. He was highly-rated and linked with multiple Premier League sides.
But he conceded 15 goals in his first eight Aston Villa appearances and by the end of February he was dropped by manager Dean Smith. The change worked wonders, with Jed Steer proving crucial in Villa’s promotion run.
Now, the Birmingham Mail have claimed Villa are willing to offload Kalinic this summer, either on loan or on a permanent basis. The only thing stopping the Midlands club from getting rid is whether a buyer will be found.
Though he has endured a difficult six months, Kalinic is certainly an excellent goalkeeper and showed that in Belgium. He conceded just 88 goals in 79 games with Gent, keeping 29 clean sheets.
Kalinic also has 18 Croatia caps to his name, and that should convince Leeds to give him a second chance this summer. Kiko Casilla has come under huge criticism since his move to Elland Road from Real Madrid.
The Spain international was ridiculed by Leeds and Derby fans for his mistake in the Championship play-off semi-final, which ultimately gave Derby the kickstart they needed to win 4-2 at Elland Road.
Casilla stays true to his instinct, but that instinct has been wrong on multiple occasions in the six months he has spent at Leeds. Rushing out of his goal and some dodgy decision making from crosses has led to teams targeting him.
Leeds need a goalkeeper that they can trust and although Kalinic struggled to begin with, he has plenty of quality and the kind of ability required to push Leeds a step closer to Premier League promotion.