#4 Nikola KalinićEmbed from Getty Images
Whilst there hasn’t been any concrete links between Albion and Atletico Madrid over the transfer of Kalinić, this does seem like the sort of signing that would make sense for the Baggies.
Kalinić has struggled for game time during his loan spell at Roma, but he has bagged on five occasions in the league this season, at an average of a goal every 113 minutes.
For context, Dwight Gayle’s outstanding goal-scoring season for Albion’s whilst on loan in 2018/19, scored a goal once every 124 minutes, albeit scoring far more than Kalinić.
He appears to be surplus to requirements at Atletico too, so a cut-price deal could be achieved for Albion if he is of interest to Bilić and his staff.
But why should Albion be interested in the 32-year-old?
Firstly, Kalinić already knows the Premier League after spending a couple seasons at Blackburn a decade ago scoring 15 goals in his time in the North-West.
Secondly, he shares a lot of similarities with Austin: he is a poacher who hunts around the six-yard box and showcases excellent movement without the ball, whilst being very adept in the air — and he’s also capable of playing with his back to goal which lends himself to the type of hold-up play required in games where Albion will see less of the ball next year.
Finally, Kalinić’s experience with big sides such as Atletico, AC Milan and Roma may demand fairly high wages, but with the Baggies potentially being priced out of a move for their primary target Vedat Muriqi, Kalinić may be the blend of budget and quality that Bilić needs, especially if he loses one or two of his current striking options.
I wouldn’t expect this move to materialise necessarily, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if his name appears in the rumour mill in the next couple of months.