Tottenham are still on the lookout for more new arrivals this summer, trying to strengthen Antonio Conte’s squad as much as possible. It isn’t long until the Spurs squad return for a tough pre-season, ahead of the big campaign ahead.
Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Yves Bissouma have already made the move to N17, bringing their individual qualities to Conte’s side. However the transfer business does not stop there and the Lilywhites are still 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 will have to juggle European games, along with all the other fixtures in the busy schedule. This is another reason why Spurs need further incomings, to increase the size of the team.
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The Lilywhites need a backup to Harry Kane, which is likely to prove more of a struggle than they would have hoped. It is difficult to convince a player to make the move to north London and play second fiddle to the England captain.
However a player like Sasa Kalajdzic could come into the squad and fulfill that role. The 24-year-old scored six goals and registered two assists in 15 Bundesliga appearances last season.
The current Stuttgart striker struggled with a shoulder injury during the last campaign, which kept him out of action for a chunk of the season. However, former Austria boss Franco Foda, waxed lyrical about Kalajdzic and his development.
“He has developed extremely in the last few weeks and months and has taken the momentum with him. In the beginning, you have always noticed what qualities he has, but now he has also 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 these goals.”
Reports have been linking the Austrian to a number of Premier League clubs, including Spurs, but West Ham currently seem to have the edge. However Bayern Munich were also linked with Kalajdzic and are now reportedly out of the race, meaning anything can happen, as is ever the case with transfers.
Journalist Marcel Reif confirmed on Thursday that he believes the 24-year-old will make the move to England, confirming much of what reports had suggested. “I think he will go to England,” Reif admitted.
“From what I hear, there are already relatively clear agreements. Not quite Liverpool, but below. The West Hams of this world are looking for players like that.
“He’s a great boy, he’s far from finished. We’ll be hearing from him if he stays healthy. Bayern would have been too early for him.”
However, a player like Kalajdzic could be exactly what Conte needs at Tottenham. The striker has made just 87 Bundesliga appearances in his career and is yet to have European experience.
Therefore it is unlikely that he would expect regular game time, immediately after his move. This could work in Tottenham’s favor and make him a suitable addition as Kane’s backup.
Although reports have suggested Spurs may have to pay up to £ 21.5million for the Austrian, its market value according to CIES is up to just £ 6million. If the Lilywhites could secure a deal for more like the latter price, it would be even more of a clear reason to pursue a deal for Kalajdzic.
The 24-year-old has been impressing in recent times and a couple of years ago he explained who he had been compared to and what type of player he is. “I’ve heard a comparison with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Peter Crouch, anything from ‘tall and lanky’ to ‘tall’ and an ‘Ibrahimovic-Machine’! I’ve heard a lot of things, “he admitted.
“When I used to play holding midfield there was a player called Nemanja Matic at Manchester United 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 box. I try to incorporate that into my game, to improve that area of my game, but because I played in midfield a lot when I was younger I try to be more creative, “the Austrian added.
“To be strong, I try to be a modern striker, despite my height. I think I do that well with my ability and the way I play. I like the way we play as well. At the moment I’m very happy. “I’m not a classic No.9, maybe something between a nine and a 10, something like that maybe. A nine and a half!”
Some of Kalajdzic’s comments highlight similarities to Kane, who found himself in deeper positions last season. This could also indicate the 24-year-old’s versatility, another boost for Conte, with an inevitable need for rotation during the next campaign.
As West Ham seem like current reported front runners, Tottenham would have to offer an encouraging deal to persuade the striker to make the move to N17. However they can offer Kalajdzic top facilities in a great location, with a world-class manager and Champions League football.
Spurs were linked to Darwin Nunez, before he made the move to Liverpool, but maybe the Stuttgart man could be a perfect replacement. Kalajdzic may not yet be the complete player but he has great potential, which has already been shown and he has a willingness to learn. With influence and training from Conte and playing amongst top players in a Spurs team, who knows what the future could hold for the 24-year-old.
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