Lovre Kalinić Leaves Aston Villa
Aston Villa today confirmed Lovre Kalinić has completed a permanent transfer to HNK Hajduk Split.
Having joined Villa from Belgian side Gent for £6m, in the January transfer window of 2019, the Croatian goalkeeper’s time at Villa was nothing short of huge flop. With one season left on his contract, it’s believed his contract was essentially terminated and he moved on a free transfer to Hajduk, where he’d been playing on loan for the past couple of seasons.
Kalinić’s time at Villa was seemingly cursed from the off, conceding three goals in each of his first two games for Villa, a 3-0 FA Cup defeat at Villa Park against Swansea, followed by a 3-0 away defeat at Wigan.
The 6ft 7 goalkeeper only made seven league appearances in what turned out to be an unlikely promotion season of 2018/19. His last action was being taken off with concession against West Brom at Villa Park in February 2019, when the Baggies’ 2-0 win seemed have to doomed Villa to another season in the Championship.
But with Jed Steer replacing Kalinić and Jack Grealish returning for the next game as captain, Villa went on a 10-game winning run and the rest is history. Kalinić, at least, got to be part of the successful Championship Play-off winning Villa squad at Wembley stadium, when the club won promotion back to the Premier League.
Never to play for Villa again, the former Croat international missed out on playing in the Premier League. Instead, he spent time on loan at Toulouse in Ligue 1, before his two recent loan periods in Split.
Kalinić follows Boško Balaban in what is seemingly bad luck for Villa when it comes to Croatian footballers.
Bogarde Signs for Villa
In other news, Villa and Holland youth player Lamare Bogarde has signed a new long-term contract with the club. Bogarde was part of the side that won the 2020/21 FA Youth Cup.