By Tom Avery
Manchester United target Sasa Kalajdzic has three assists in the two opening games of the Bundesliga season for VfB Stuttgart.
According to Sky Sports, the 25-year-old is one of several strikers the Red Devils are looking at this summer.
The same report also states that the Austrian, who is managed at national team level by United’s former interim boss Ralf Rangnick, is keen on a move to Old Trafford.
The towering striker has a year left to run on his contract at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and he has scored 24 goals in 58 games for Stuttgart in all competitions.
While the big target man seems keen on embarking on a new challenge this summer, Rangnick believes that Kalajdzic’s development would not be harmed if he stayed at Stuttgart.
With Anthony Martial still out injured, Erik ten Hag didn’t have a senior striker on the bench in yesterday’s embarrassing 4-0 battering at Brentford.
Cristiano Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes and the 37-year-old cut a frustrated figure. United’s number seven has now endured back-to-back 4-0 away defeats in his last two Premier League starts.
With the physical presence of Ivan Toney causing United all sorts of problems at the other end, Ten Hag didn’t haver that vocal point or option to call upon from his bench to help or replace Ronaldo.
Kalajdzic, who stands at 6ft 5, would provide the former Ajax manager with a Plan B and give Manchester United’s beleaguered squad a different attacking dimension.
Stuttgart’s number nine has three assists from the first two Bundesliga games of the new campaign.
His first came in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Red Bull Leipzig – with his back to goal, Kalajdzic laid the ball perfectly into the path for Naouirou Ahamada who slotted the ball into the far bottom corner from just outside the penalty area.
In yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Werder Bremen, the Austrian had a hand in both goals.
His one-two with Wataru Endo saw the aforementioned Stuttgart man score from distance, but it was his role in Stuttgart’s second which may grab Ten Hag’s attention.
He showcased his ability to be a playmaking forward with an eye of the needle pass into the path of his teammate.
He has the presence to be that reference point up point, connecting and bringing everyone together in the final third, while possessing the vision and guile to create chances for his teammates.
Yes, Kalajdzic has had his injury problems during his career, but he could be a gamble worth taking considering how worryingly one dimensional and predictable United’s attack has looked in the first two Premier League matches of the season.
By Tom Avery