Sasa Kalajdzic was on Manchester United’s list of possible targets earlier this summer; the 6ft 7in striker had 12 months left to run on his contract and scored 24 goals in 58 games in all competitions during his time at Stuttgart
Wednesday 31 August 2022 16:44, UK
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Wolves have signed striker Sasa Kalajdzic from Stuttgart in a deal worth £15.5m plus add-ons.
Kalajdzic, who stands at 6ft 7in, scored 24 goals in 58 games for Stuttgart in all competitions and had a year left to run on his contract.
Kalajdzic, who was on Manchester United’s list of possible targets earlier this month, has signed a five-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.
The striker was left out of Stuttgart’s Bundesliga encounter with Cologne last weekend as he closed in on a move to Molineux. He will wear the No 18 shirt.
Wolves technical director Scott Sellars said: “We are very happy to secure the signing of Sasa, who is a talented young striker, has many excellent attributes to his game and fits the profile that we have been looking for this summer.
“Sasa has had great success in Germany’s Bundesliga, and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Premier League.”
Kalajdzic is a full Austria international, with 15 senior caps to his name. He started his career in his homeland with Donaufeld Wien before joining Admira Wacker where he got the chance to impress in the Austrian Bundesliga.
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The 25-year-old joined Stuttgart in 2019, and has now put pen to paper on a long-term contract at Wolves.
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate
Despite his rare height, there is more to Kalajdzic’s game than winning headers in the box. He is a player who can hold the ball up and bring others into play. But there is no doubt that Wolves are a team who could benefit from an aerial threat inside the box.
Crosses have not been a particular feature of their game under Bruno Lage. The 588 that Wolves attempted last season was the third fewest of any Premier League team and far fewer than in any of the three previous seasons under Nuno Espirito Santo.
But perhaps that was in part due to the players available. Raul Jimenez was once a real threat with his head. In the 2019/20 Premier League season, no player scored more headed goals than the Mexican. But his fractured skull understandably changed things.
Jimenez, now playing with a protective headband, has scored 10 goals for club and country since returning from that injury but not one of those goals has come with his head. Speaking to Lage in February, he acknowledged this was proving a challenge for the player.
“From my point of view, the band does not give him the same power and direction with the ball,” he told Sky Sports. “That is a big change. We cannot forget that. Sometimes he touches the ball and the ball goes in a different direction.”
Lage added: “We know Raul scored a lot of goals from heading. It is time to adapt to a new reality.” The signing of Kalajdzic could be a key moment in that adaptation process, reopening an important avenue to goal for a Wolves team struggling to score them.
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