Official: Aston Villa confirm Lovre Kalinic joins Hajduk Split on season-long loan deal

Aston Villa have officially announced that Lovre Kalinic has joined Hajduk Split on a season-long loan deal for the upcoming campaign.

The 31-year-old has been on international duty this summer as part of the Croatia squad for EURO 2020, but with the focus now shifting back to club football, his future has been clarified for the next 12 months.

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As per the club’s official site, Kalinic has re-joined Hajduk Split for another season on loan, having spent the second half of last year with the club.

Having only made eight appearances for Villa since joining us in 2018, the Croatian shot-stopper will no doubt welcome the opportunity to continue to play regularly, with his chances limited with us given Emiliano Martinez has cemented his spot as first-choice between the posts for Dean Smith.

Tom Heaton moved on this summer after his contract expired and so there was perhaps an opening for Kalinic to be more involved, but ultimately all parties concerned have agreed that a fresh exit is the best result for all.

From a Villa perspective, that leaves just Jed Steer as a senior back-up option for Martinez, while Smith does have talented options emerging from the youth sides.

That said, it’s likely that he’ll want another senior player at his disposal in that department in the event that neither Martinez nor Steer are available for selection, and so it remains to be seen if Villa move to address that situation in the coming weeks.

The new Premier League campaign is now a month away, but with pre-season fixtures starting next week, it’s hoped that the club can conclude the majority of their business in the transfer market before that to allow any new recruits to settle and adjust to the squad so that they can make an immediate impact when the competitive action returns.