Aston Villa goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic will miss most of his club’s final games of the season after being ruled out following surgery on a knee injury – which will have him facing a nervy build up to the summer.
Croatian news outlet Novo claim on their website that the 29-year-old, who has 18-caps under his belt for his country, went under the knife earlier this week and is set to be sidelined from training for the next month, by which point the Villans will have seen out their league campaign – with the possibility of a play off battle to navigate.
It might not seem the most serious of injury blows, but it will not do his cause any good as the summer transfer window closes in.
Why should he be worried?
Having signed for the Championship club in January, there will be many out there, perhaps even Kalinic himself, who feel his place at the club is secure and that he does not need to fear leaving.
However, as a big name arrival who has so far failed to impress the Villa faithful, which will of course include manager Dean Smith, the fact he will be a big drain on the club’s wages cannot be ignored.
Falling down the pecking order behind Jed Steer means he is an expensive asset to have sitting on the bench and if he is not going to be playing then why should he feel safe at the club – and this injury blow gives him less time to prove he has what it takes to be number one at the club.
If nothing else, he should not be happy settling as backup and he might need to consider his own future at Villa Park.
Could he really leave?
It all depends on whether he has done enough to convince Smith this season – something that might be difficult to argue for.
Having signed Orjan Nyland last summer and Kalinic in January, Villa still do not look like they have signed the goalkeeper that is going to remain as their first choice for the long term and if sales are needed to fund yet another incoming shot stopper, then those two names are going to be first on the chopping block.
Nothing is set in stone, but missing training is doing Kalinic’s hopes no good whatsoever and it only makes the build up to summer more nervy.