Aston Villa have today announced the signing of goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic. He is Dean Smith’s first signing as Villa boss and has reportedly cost Villa around £5.5million.
The goalkeeper has signed a 5-year deal and will officially join the club from Genk on January 1st, 2019.
Smith has stated that he is ‘delighted’ to have signed an ‘outstanding’ keeper with his ‘quality’.
Kalinic was reportedly close to signing for Villa three years ago but failed to gain a work permit.
Who is Lovre Kalinic?
Kalinic is a 28-year-old goalkeeper who has spent the last two seasons in Belgium with Genk. He came through the academy at Croatian side Hajduk Split where he spent 17 years at the club.
The keeper has represented the Croatian national side at every level from u15’s and has gone on to make 14 appearances for the full side. He is now known as the Croatian number 1 following the retirement of Danijel Subašić this summer.
You would like to think his catching ability is decent with him standing at 6ft 7inch. Like most modern day goalkeepers he is known for his shot stopping. It has been said by those more familiar with him that he likes to talk to his defence and can speak English which should help him settle in quickly.
What now for Orjan Nyland?
Orjan Nyland has struggled since he signed for Villa in the summer. Rumours have been strong linking Villa with a move for Burnley’s Tom Heaton. Following the announcement today I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nyland moved on in some capacity in January.
It will most likely be a loan signing with a view to a permanent deal in the summer. I just hope that Kalinic can settle quickly and make the position his own as Villa have struggled for a long-term permanent goalkeeper for a number of years now.