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Six former VfB Stuttgart players who moved to the Premier League amid Sasa Kalajdzic links

VfB Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic is on the radar of Tottenham Hotspur this summer, according to reports in Germany.

German outlet Bild state that Antonio Conte’s side are interested in bringing the Austria international to north London during the summer transfer window.

The report adds that the 24-year-old was earmarked as a potential replacement for Harry Kane when Manchester City were chasing the influential England captain last summer.

However, The Citizens baulked at Daniel Levy’s £150m asking price and have instead signed Erling Haaland this summer which will be music to Tottenham fans ears.

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But instead of replacing Kane this summer, Kalajdzic has been earmarked as a potential option to bolster Conte’s forward line and to provide quality backup and competition for Spurs’ number 10.

The 15-time Austrian international only scored six goals last season, but it was yet another campaign that was hampered by injuries.

Kalajdzic, whose contract at the Mercedes-Benz Arena expires in 2023, missed the majority of the 2019-20 season due to a cruciate knee ligament injury, but he has shown that when he can stay injury free – he can be an asset to any side due to his goalscoring prowess.

Die Schwaben’s number nine scored 16 Bundesliga goals during the 2020-21 season, but given his injury struggles, Conte will have to decide whether its worth taking a risk on Stuttgart’s talisman.

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Since making the move to the Swabian giants from Austrian side Admira Wacker in 2019, the towering striker has bagged 24 goals in 57 appearances and, crucially, 22 goals and eight assists in just 48 Bundesliga games.

Given Kalajdzic’s contract only has one year remaining, a move could prove rather straight forward to engineer this summer.

With the Austrian linked with a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, TBR takes a look at six former VfB Stuttgart players who moved to the Premier League.

Former VfB Stuttgart players who moved to the Premier League

Jürgen Klinsmann

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Klinsmann moved to Stuttgart in 1984 from Stuttgarter Kickers where he went on to score 94 goals from 186 games and in 1988 he was named German Footballer of the Year, which he would go on to win for a second time.

But after losing to Diego Maradona’s Napoli 5-4 on aggregate in the 1988-89 UEFA Cup Final, Klinsmann joined Italian giants Inter Milan.

After spells with the Nerazzurri and Monaco, Klinsmann joined Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the 1994-95 Premier League season.

Klinsmann scored 21 goals in the 1994–95 season for Spurs and a total of 30 in all competitions, and he went on to win win the 1995 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.

After a year at White Hart Lane – the 1990 World Cup winner moved back to Germany with Bayern Munich where he spent two seasons.

Following a brief spell with Sampdoria, the prolific striker moved back to Tottenham and his goals during his second stint at the club helped keep the club in the Premier League during the 1997-98 season, before he called time on his high-level career and moved to the United States.

Aleksandr Hleb

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The Belarusian legend spent five years at Stuttgart following his move from BATE Borisov and made 186 appearances during his first stint with the club.

The attacking midfielder was signed by Arsene Wenger and Hleb spent three seasons with the Gunners, amassing 130 appearances before moving to Barcelona.

However, after a season at the Nou Camp, the six-time Belarus Footballer of the Year re-joined Stuttgart on a season-long loan.

Hleb was part of the Barcelona side that won the Treble in 2008-09 and he also won the 2011 League Cup with Birmingham before eventually returning to BATE.

Shinji Okazaki

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The Japanese legend spent two-and-a-half years at Stuttgart following his arrival from Shimizu S-Pulse and he scored 13 goals from 85 games before moving to Mainz.

Okazaki spent two seasons at Mainz, scoring 29 goals from 70 appearances before moving to Leicester City.

The striker was part of the Foxes side that pulled off the unthinkable and won the 2015-16 Premier League title where he played upfront with Jamie Vardy.

After four seasons at the King Power Stadium, Okazaki moved to Malaga and the 36-year-old is currently playing for Spanish side Cartagena.

Bernd Leno

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Despite coming through the Stuttgart youth ranks, the German stopper never played for the first team before moving to Bayer Leverkusen.

The nine-time German international played over 300 games for the BayArena side before signing for Arsenal for £19.3m in June 2018.

But following the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale, Leno finds himself out of favour at the Emirates Stadium and newly-promoted Fulham are in talks to sign the 30-year-old, according to Sky Sports.

After making just eight appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side this season, Leno will be eager to secure first team football and that could well come via Craven Cottage.

Timo Werner

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One of the finest products of the Stuttgart academy, Werner has struggled to transfer the devastating goalscoring form he showed at RB Leipzig over to the Premier League with Chelsea.

The pacey forward made over 100 appearances for Stuttgart before the Red Bull-owned club came calling.

In 159 games for the Red Bull Arena side, Werner scored 95 goals and laid on 40 assists. His blistering form in Germany resulted in Chelsea paying £45m to trigger Werner’s release clause.

However, after arriving at Stamford Bridge as one of the most coveted strikers across Europe, the 26-year-old has struggled to show the same composure in front of goal and he hasn’t been anywhere near as prolific in west London to that of his homeland.

From 89 appearances for the Blues, Chelsea’s number 11, who has 24 goals from 53 caps for Germany, has scored 23 goals and supplied 21 assists.

Antonio Rudiger

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The dominant German centre-back joined Stuttgart’s youth side from Borussia Dortmund’s Under-19s side and Rudiger went on to make 80 appearances for Stuttgart’s first team.

After a loan spell with Serie A side AS Roma, the Giallorossi made Rudiger’s stay in the Eternal City permanent before he joined Chelsea a year later.

The west London side paid the Stadio Olimpico side £29m to secure Rudiger’s services and the all-action centre-halve has become one of the best defenders around during his time at Stamford Bridge.

But after over 200 appearances, which saw him win the Champions League, Club World Cup, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and FA Cup, Rudiger has joined Real Madrid as a free agent, following the expiry of his Chelsea contract.

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