David Moyes should urge West Ham United to launch a summer swoop to sign the perfect target for Aaron Cresswell in VfB Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic.
According to the Daily Mail, Kalajdzic has emerged as a potential centre-forward for the Irons to target in the off-season as Moyes continues his search for Sebastien Haller’s replacement.
The towering 6 ft 6 target man is considered to be a cheaper option than Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham or Slavia Prague’s Abdallah Sima, with Stuttgart expected to make Kalajdzic available for around £15m at the end of the season.
Moyes is weighing up a move for Kalajdzic as he strives to find a striker who can hold up the ball and be a threat from set-pieces, with the 23-year-old noted to be a very mobile and technically strong player despite his build.
Kalajdzic, who has scored 12 goals and provided four assists in 23 Bundesliga outings this season – of which he’s only started 13, has been likened to former England international Peter Crouch for being ‘a big man with good feet’. He has also been dubbed as ‘the next Mario Gomez’ in Germany.
West Ham are not alone in monitoring Kalajdzic’s situation at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with Bundesliga title-hopefuls RB Leipzig and Serie A side AS Roma also said to be keen on the Austria international of Serbian descent.
Other Premier League clubs are also claimed to be compiling scouting reports on the two-cap striker, who does not consider himself to be a classic number nine.
“I’m not a classic No.9, maybe something between a nine and a 10, something like that maybe. A nine and a half,” he told Bundesliga.com following a return of three goals in three games to start the league season after helping Stuttgart gain promotion last season.
Depending on what Moyes has placed the greatest emphasis on in his search for Haller’s replacement, West Ham moving to land Kalajdzic in the summer could prove to be a well-thought-out transfer by signing a proper hold-up player for Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen and co. to operate off.
Kalajdzic is also scoring freely in the Bundesliga right now, with the £7,500-per-week striker hitting home seven goals in his last six outings having overcome a dip in form after his rapid break out of the blocks.
A decline in output was always expected after the 23-year-old missed much of Stuttgart’s promotion-clinching 2019/20 2. Bundesliga campaign due to a cruciate ligament rupture, which restricted the Wien-born forward to just six appearances across all competitions.
But Kalajdzic has responded magnificently and having a target man of his calibre could also prove to provide Cresswell with his best option, with the full-back a leading creator at the London Stadium through his set-piece deliveries and his eye for a cross.
Cresswell has averaged a team-high 1.7 accurate deliveries and 4.2 unsuccessful crosses per game in the Premier League this season, along with 1.6 accurate free-kicks from 2.1 – only goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (1.8/3.4) offers more, per WhoScored.
The 31-year-old defender also provides a team-high 0.9 accurate corners per game, which is the most by a Hammers player to date. He further ranks fifth across the division for accurate crosses per game, with more than the likes of Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson (1.6), Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne (1.6) and Everton’s Lucas Digne (1.6).
With six of Kalajdzic’s 12 Bundesliga goals coming from headers, Cresswell could be in dreamland with a target man like him occupying a place in the box.