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Houllier Linked to Villa Killer Kalinic

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has been linked with an interest in Blackburn striker Nikola Kalinic, a man who loves playing against the club over the thousands of games versus Rovers in recent years. The 23-year-old Croat has shown glimpses of brilliance warranting the £5m fee spent two years ago on the former Hadjuk Split striker. However, an inability thus far to replicate these moments, mostly against Villa, on a regular basis has seen him slip down the pecking order under Steve Kean. The Daily Star suggest that Harry Redknapp may also be interested in adding to his strong Croatian contingency at White Hart Lane having attempted to sign the youngster whilst in charge of Portsmouth but that seems highly unlikely with the attacking talent at Spurs’ disposal. This season he has played just 18 games in all competitions, completing the 90 minutes in just 6 of those. In that time he has six goals to his name at a rate of a goal every 186 minutes (just over 2 games), with 2 assists in the bag to boot. In 4 games for Croatia this season he has netted 3 goals, including a brace in a 4-2 defeat to the Czech Republic. Rovers signed him as a 21-year-old off the back of netting 15 goals in 28 games in the Croatian league. His best record against a Premier League team comes against Villa, by far, having scored 5 in 6 against the club, most notably a brace in the memorable League Cup semi-final second leg at Villa Park, resulting in the front man ending on the wrong side of a 6-4 thriller.

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