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Newcastle keeping tabs on Sasa Kalajdzic

Newcastle United are reportedly considering a move for Stuttgart striker, Sasa Kalajdzic, with a new centre-forward still high on the priority list for manager Eddie Howe.

What’s the word?

According to the Daily Mail, the 25-year-old is said to be one of the options on the Magpies’ list of potential new striking additions, with Benfica ace Goncalo Ramos also mentioned also another possible target.

The report suggests that the northeast side are eyeing a ‘winger and a striker’ before the September deadline, with frustration seemingly brewing over their inability to get an attacking addition through the door at present.

The St James’ Park outfit won’t be alone in their interest in the Austria international, however, with Manchester United also believed to be keen on the 15-cap menace, while fellow Premier League side Southampton are also in the running.

Toney alternative

The addition of the Vienna-born marksman – who could reportedly cost in the region of £17m – would add much-needed depth to Howe’s forward line, with the former Bournemouth boss currently reliant on the injury-prone Callum Wilson and goal-shy January arrival, Chris Wood – the latter man netting just twice following his £25m switch from Burnley.

Goals have seemingly not been an issue for Kalazjdzic in his career thus far, however, with the towering, 6 foot 7 colossus having scored 24 goals and provided 12 assists in just 56 games for the Bundesliga outfit, having previously registered 24 goal contributions in just 35 games at Admira Wacker in his homeland.

While the £22.5m-rated man was blighted by injury and illness throughout the 2021/22 campaign, he still chipped in with six goals and one assist in just 15 outings, having also laid on three assists in just two league games in the new season.

The 2020/21 season had seen the £6.3k-per-week titan score 16 goals and lay on five assists in what was his debut campaign in Germany, with such form unsurprisingly catching the attention of those in England.

Of those 16 goals, eight came from headers, with pundit Marcel Reif previously insisting that he can do “crazy things” in the air – with such a claim no real surprise considering his imperious size and stature.

An imposing focal point in leading the line, the forward seemingly shares a number of statistical and stylistic similarities to that of Brentford man Ivan Toney, as per FBref, with that no doubt piquing the interest of those on Tyneside due to the Englishman’s Newcastle connections.

The 26-year-old – who was plucked by the Magpies as a teenager back in 2015 – made just four senior appearances in a disappointing spell at the club, although has since blossomed into a hugely menacing attacking threat for the Bees, scoring 12 goals and providing five assists in the top-flight last term.

That form – which also saw him net 33 goals in the second tier the year prior – has unsurprisingly seen him linked with a return to St James’ Park this summer, albeit with a move appearing unlikely due to his reported £50m asking price.

Kalajdzic could represent a far more affordable option, but one that shares similar characteristics, as he notably ranks in the top 6% for aerial duels won among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, with Toney ranking in the top 13% for the same metric.

The pair are also creative forwards rather than simply just goalscorers, with the Stuttgart man having an xG assisted (or expected assists) of 0.27 per game, while Toney averages 0.21 per 90, proving themselves as threats in the final third beyond just putting the ball in the net.

Although there may be those at Newcastle keen to spare their blushes at having let their former asset depart in the past by bringing him back to the club, they have seemingly found an ideal alternative in the form of Kalajdzic.

Article title: Newcastle keeping tabs on Sasa Kalajdzic

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