Tottenham are still looking for more signings this summer and are trying to strengthen Antonio Conte’s squad as much as possible. It doesn’t take long for the Spurs squad to return for a tough pre-season ahead of the big season ahead.
Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Yves Bissouma have already switched to N17 and bring their individual qualities to Conte’s side. However, the transfer business doesn’t stop there and the Lilywhites are likely to welcome new arrivals before the upcoming season.
Tottenham’s fourth-place finish means a return to the Champions League and the 52-year-old has to juggle European fixtures alongside every other game in the busy schedule. It’s another reason Spurs need more additions to grow the team.
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The Lilywhites need a backup for Harry Kane, which will likely prove more difficult than they had hoped. It’s difficult to convince a player to move to north London and play second fiddle to the England captain.
However, a player like Sasa Kalajdzic could come into the squad and fill that role. The 24-year-old scored six goals and provided two assists in 15 Bundesliga games last season.
The current Stuttgart striker struggled with a shoulder injury last season that kept him out of action for much of the season. Ex-Austria coach Franco Foda, on the other hand, raved about Kalajdzic and his development.
“He has developed extremely over the past few weeks and months and taken the momentum with him. In the beginning you always noticed what qualities he had, but now he’s been ripped off in front of goal, where a striker has to be,” he said last year.
“He has good anticipation in the penalty area. It was no coincidence that he scored those goals.”
Reports have linked the Austrian with a number of Premier League clubs, including Spurs, but West Ham appear to have the edge at the moment. However, Bayern Munich have also been linked with Kalajdzic and are now reportedly out of the running, meaning anything can happen, as always happens with transfers.
Journalist Marcel Reif confirmed on Thursday that he believes the 24-year-old will join England, confirming much of what reports had suggested. “I think he will go to England,” admitted Reif.
“From what I hear, there are already relatively clear agreements. Not all of Liverpool, but underneath. The West Hams of this world are looking for players like that.”
“He’s a great boy, he’s far from finished. We’ll hear from him if he stays healthy. Bayern would have been too early for him.”
However, a player like Kalajdzic could be just what Conte needs at Tottenham. The striker has made just 87 Bundesliga appearances in his career and has no European experience yet.
Therefore, it is unlikely that he would count on regular playing time immediately after his move. This could work in Tottenham’s favor and make him a suitable addition as Kane’s backup.
Although Spurs may reportedly have to pay up to £21.5million for the Austrian, his market value is only up to £6million, according to CIES. If the Lilywhites could strike a deal for more like the latter price, it would be an even clearer reason to seek a deal for Kalajdzic.
The 24-year-old has impressed lately and a couple of years ago he explained who he was compared to and what kind of player he is. “I heard a comparison to [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Peter Crouch, everything from “tall and lanky” to “tall” and an “Ibrahimovic machine”! I’ve heard a lot of things,” he admitted.
“When I was playing in midfield, there was a player at Manchester United called Nemanja Matic who was a bit of an idol, he’s also Serbian and I have Serbian roots. I tried to compare myself to him.
“I’m not really a classic target man, not really someone who hangs around in the penalty area. I’m trying to incorporate that into my game to improve that area of my game, but because I played a lot in midfield when I was younger I’m trying to be more creative,” added the Austrian.
“To be strong, I try to be a modern striker despite my size. I think I can do that well with my skills and the way I play. I also like how we play. At the moment I’m very happy.” I’m not a classic number 9, maybe something between a nine and a ten, maybe something like that. A nine and a half!”
Some of Kalajdzic’s comments highlight similarities to Kane, who found himself in deeper positions last season. It could also hint at the 24-year-old’s versatility, another boost for Conte, with an inevitable need for rotation throughout the next season.
With West Ham appearing to be leaders as recently reported, Tottenham would need to offer an encouraging deal to convince the striker to join N17. However, they can offer Kalajdzic top facilities in a great location, with a world-class manager and Champions League football.
Spurs were linked with Darwin Nunez before joining Liverpool but perhaps the Stuttgart native could be a perfect replacement. Kalajdzic may not be the complete player yet, but he has great potential that has already shown and he is willing to learn. With Conte’s influence and training, and playing amongst top players on a Spurs team, who knows what the future might hold for the 24-year-old.
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