It’s great for Aston Villa to have their first-choice goalkeeper back, isn’t it? Lovre Kalinic confirmed on his Instagram that he’s back in training to return between the sticks soon, although it could be the wrong decision to disillusion current ‘keeper, Jed Steer.
The 26-year-old has played Villa’s last two games, including keeping a clean sheet against Derby during their emphatic 4-0 win at Villa Park, and he’s given Dean Smith no reason to drop him back to the bench. So when Kalinic returns to the starting 11 as he might be expected to do in the Second City derby this weekend, that sends a message to Steer loud and clear.
His Croatian colleague has hardly been tearing up the Championship with his performances, having only kept one clean sheet in eight appearances since arriving at the club in January. He conceded 15 goals in that time and the club sit in a disappointing 11th position, so his return isn’t a case of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’.
It’d be harsh to say Villa are broken, but what’s the harm in leaving a goalkeeper in net to see if the team’s performances reach their high expectations with him there?
Aside from it sending the wrong message to the whole squad, it proves Steer may never be number one as long as Kalinic is at the club, and so if he wants to reach his potential, he should move elsewhere.
He’ll have been waiting for this opportunity to shine since the new goalkeeper’s arrival and now he feels he’s taken advantage of it, he’ll be disillusioned with the decision if he’s dropped straight away.
He’s in the final months of his contract at Villa after a loan spell with Charlton at the start of the season, and whether it’s Villa’s choice to refuse him another contract or it’s his decision to leave, doing so would be the best ideas for his future.
Aston Villa fans, who are you backing to start in the Second City derby this weekend? Join the discussion by commenting below…