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Blackburn Rovers' Lewandowski alternative now squad player in Ukraine

Nikola Kalinic was deemed a perfect option for Blackburn Rovers instead of Robert Lewandowski. Now with Dnipro Dniproprovetsk we assess that deal.

Sam Allardyce has been rueing a past indiscretion ever since a certain 24-year-old decided to bang four goals past the helpless Real Madrid in Germany on Wednesday night.

Robert Lewandowski was the man in question with his four-goal salvo making Europe stand up on its feet and applaud the Bundesliga once again.

For Big Sam it was a moment to rub the bridge of his nose and let out a sigh. In fact that is not entirely true. Eventually Venkys came in and got rid of him anyway so his chatter about signing Robert Lewandowski in 2010 really meant no difference to him. For Blackburn Rovers fans however knowing that one of the continent’s most potent goal-scorers was in their sights is a bitter pill to swallow-especially when they consider their current position.

But that was the case. Then with Lech Poznan Blackburn had a real chance of snapping up the striking sensation for £4 million but a combination of a volcanic ash-cloud and an apparent lack of funds meant the deal never went through.

Dortmund snapped him up and the rest is history.

But what about the player they invested in instead? The player who obviously was not so afraid of a little bit of ash in the air.

Because in 2009 is when Allardyce and Blackburn first made the inquiry for Lewandowski; before anybody outside of Iceland had ever heard of Eyjafjallajokull.

After that Lewandowski bid failed Rovers instead moved to snap up a young Croatian who had been banging in the goals for Hajduk Split by the name of Nikola Kalinic for a whopping £6 million; £2 million more than the asking price for Lewandowski I might add.

Needless to say he never really got going in Lancashire. After two seasons which amounted just 13 goals he was sent packing to Ukraine to play for Dnipro Dniproprovetsk. If you were wondering; during the same time frame Lewandowski scored 30 goals and went on to score that same total in one season the following campaign. This campaign Lewandowski is going from strength to strength; currently on 35 goals from 43 games.

Kalinic has however failed to shine at Dnipro. After starting this season as a first-teamer he has been a far less prolific member of the squad since the winter-break ended in March and has not scored a goal since netting against Metalurh in November last year; his third goal of the season.

It is only when you assess the difference in quality between the player Blackburn got and the player Blackburn missed that you truly see how wrong they got it; ash cloud or no ash cloud this was a clanger.

What do you remember of Nikola Kalinic?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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