It is fair to say Lovre Kalinic has not had an easy start to 2019.
Aston Villa paid £7 million to sign the shot-stopper from Gent in January (Telegraph) and, on paper, an established Croatia international who won the Belgian Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2017 looked like a substantial upgrade on the unconvincing Orjan Nyland.
But Kalinic is yet to live up to those lofty expectations – or that hefty price-tag. After a nervy start to life at Villa, including an error-strewn debut against Swansea City in the FA Cup, the 28-year-old has been dropped to the bench for his new club’s last five Championship games.
Villa are unbeaten since Jed Steer was given his chance between the sticks, winning their last four. It doesn’t look good for Kalinic, then.
The last thing he needed was another questionable performance during the international break. Croatia lost 2-1 away at Hungary in a Euro 2020 qualifier this week and Kalinic could certainly have done better with both goals.
He let Hungary’s first slip through his hands before being caught in no-man’s land as the hosts netted the winner from a corner. Croatia fans were furious. Have Villa signed another goalkeeping dud?
Livakovic is ten times the player Kalinic is ffs— BOBAN (@lapatelic) March 24, 2019
Kalinic is the worst goalkeeper I have ever seen.... HOW IS HE CROATIAS NUMBER 1?!— DTⓂ️ (@Macklez94) March 24, 2019
Kalinic sucked at Hajduk and has no business on the National team with the young talent we have!— JM (@showdog05) March 24, 2019
Wtf is Kalinic doing. Guy has me missing Pletikosa. Dreadful.— Alan Masters (@MastersAlanJ) March 24, 2019
Kalinic is garbage— Ante (@Ante54597799) March 24, 2019
I really am concerned for whoever thought we should of bought Kalinic .... no banter now whatsoever he is easily hands down the worse goalkeeper I’ve ever seen on a football pitch.— DJRUSSKE (@DJRUSSKE) March 24, 2019
@AVFCOfficial deserve the point deduction just for spending £7 million on Kalinic.— SKroatia (@SKroatia) March 24, 2019
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