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Enough is enough – It’s time for Aston Villa to get rid of their £5.4m flop signing

Lovre Kalinic playing for Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
Lovre Kalinic playing for Aston Villa in the FA Cup. (Getty Images)

Why Aston Villa should sell Lovre Kalinic as soon as possible

According to Turkish media outlet Sabah (h/t Birmingham Mail), Aston Villa flop Lovre Kalinic has been linked with a move to Besiktas.

The Croatian goalkeeper is expected to return to Villa after his six-month loan spell with Ligue 1 side Toulouse was cut short. Kalinic was Dean Smith’s first signing in January 2019 since taking over as Villa manager. However, the 30-year-old shot-stopper never managed to establish himself at Villa Park.

Lovre Kalinic playing for Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
Lovre Kalinic playing for Aston Villa in the FA Cup. (Getty Images)

Poor form and a series of injuries have restricted Kalinic to a mere 8 appearances for Villa despite joining them 18 months ago. Lack of regular game time saw the £5.4million signing from Gent being offloaded to Toulouse in January.

However, luck seemed to have not favoured Kalinic as he could manage just four appearances for the French outfit before being ruled out for the rest of the season due to a thigh injury.

Kalinic surplus to requirements at Aston Villa

Meanwhile, the report also claims that Besiktas have identified Kalinic as a potential replacement for former loanee Loris Karius. With Smith’s Villa now well-stocked in the goalkeeping department with as many as five goalkeepers apart from him, Kalinic’s chances seem increasingly limited.

Aston Villa coach Dean Smith during a press conference.
Aston Villa coach Dean Smith during a press conference. (Getty Images)

Tom Heaton remains the side’s obvious first-choice custodian, having arrived from Burnley last summer. However, an injury to Heaton saw Smith roping experienced keeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan in January.

Villa also have goalkeepers Jed Steer, Orjan Nyland, Matija Sarkic waiting in line to prove a point when given the chance. Kalinic, who is clearly behind them in the pecking order would find it increasingly difficult to break into the first-team set-up.

Kalinic’s contract at Villa Park still has three years left to run however, given Villa’s depth in the goalkeeping department, it’s most likely that Kalinic will be shown the exit door. Kalinic clearly looks surplus to the club’s requirements at the moment and it would be foolish of the side to extend his stay.

Tom Heaton remains Aston Villa's obvious first-choice keeper at the moment.
Tom Heaton remains Aston Villa’s obvious first-choice keeper at the moment. (Getty Images)

With the Croatian attracting interest from Turkey, it would be wise if they choose to let go of him rather than wasting their time and money on a player who they clearly have no use of.

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Verdict

Despite being one of Smith’s first signings in 2019, Kalinic has rarely found game time at Aston Villa.It is clear that he is not the manager’s favourite. Despite Villa’s dismal show in the league this season, Smith has stuck with Heaton. Villa can at least save some money by offloading this unwanted player and strengthen areas that need real improvement.

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