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Wolves could land the ideal Toney alternative in Sasa Kalajdzic

The end of the transfer window is on the horizon but Wolverhampton Wanderers are still yet to secure a new centre-forward this summer, with manager Bruno Lage having recently admitted that the club are looking to add a striker to their ranks.

With deadline day looming, the matter is now a “case of urgency”, in the words of transfer insider Dean Jones, with the Midlanders seemingly in desperate need of a new goal threat to help lead the forward line.

One man in whom who the Old Gold have seemingly had a long-standing interest is Brentford talisman Ivan Toney. The 26-year-old has proven his Premier League credentials over the past 12 months after making a smooth transition to life in the top tier, notably scoring 12 goals and providing five assists for Thomas Frank’s side last term.

It could have been a different story had Wolves got their man in the past, with reports as far back as 2014 suggesting that a £500k deal was in place to bring the Englishman to Molineux from Northampton, only for the then-teenager to fail his medical.

Another approach was mooted last year amid the 5 foot 10 star’s remarkable 33-goal haul in the Championship during the 2020/21 campaign, although the striker ultimately stayed put in west London as the Bees returned to the top flight, going on to score twice against Lage’s team last season.

Although reports earlier this year hinted at yet another transfer attempt for the £21k-per-week hotshot, there has been little update regarding that interest in recent months, with the player’s reported £50m asking price potentially proving prohibitive.

While Wolves may be priced out of a move, Toney has clearly been a player that they have admired for an extended period of time, with there perhaps some frustration at having never got him in the door at Molineux.

However, Lage and co appear to have found an ideal alternative in the form of Stuttgart colossus Sasa Kalajdzic, with the latest reports suggesting that they are “in talks” to sign the 6 foot 7 forward from the Bundesliga side.

The Austrian menace – who could reportedly cost in the region of €25m (£21m) – is said to share a number of statistical and stylistic similarities with the former Newcastle United man, as per FBRef, marking him out as an ideal and potentially cheaper fit for Wolves this summer.

Kalazdjic – who has also been linked with Manchester United – notably offers a real dominant presence in leading the line, much like Toney. He notably ranks in the top 6% for aerial duels won among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, with the Brentford man not too far behind as he ranks in the top 13% for the same metric.

Would Kalajdzic be a good signing for Wolves?

Yes

Yes

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Equally, the pair can clearly offer a creative touch in attack, with Kalajdzic having an xG assisted (expected assists) of 0.26, while Toney is close behind on 0.22, proving themselves as potential providers as well as reliable poachers.

The Stuttgart marksman is adept at finding the net, having netted 24 goals and provided 12 assists in 60 games for his current club, with the 25-year-old notably scoring 16 goals and providing six assists in the league during the 2020/21 campaign.

Unsurprisingly considering his stature, the £22.5m-rated target man scored eight of those goals from headers during his debut season in Germany, prompting pundit Marcel Reif to suggest that the Austrian can do “crazy things” in the air.

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While he was restricted to just six goals in 15 league games last term after beung hampered by both injury and illness, the 15-cap striker has begun the new season impressively, with three assists in as many games so far.

An all-round figure in attack, much like Toney, Kalajdzic could prove to be a particularly astute capture for Wolves this summer.

Article title: Wolves could land the ideal Toney alternative in Sasa Kalajdzic

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