The exact diagnosis was still pending on Monday morning. But they seem to be assuming the worst at Wolverhampton Wanderers, at least that’s what the media reports of a striker’s upcoming trial suggest. Diego Costa, once in the service of Chelsea FC, is due to audition on Tuesday – and possibly replace Sasa Kalajdzic, who is said to have torn his cruciate ligament.
The Austrian only switched from VfB Stuttgart to the Premier League club in England last Wednesday – one day before the end of the transfer period – for a fee of almost 18 million euros. In his first appearance for Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, however, Kalajdzic, who failed to score a point, had to be substituted at half-time after injuring his knee in the first half of the game against FC Southampton (1-0).
“He had pain in his knee, nothing serious, but we had the feeling that we should take him off the field,” Wolverhampton coach Bruno Lage said immediately after his team’s first win of the season.
The 25-year-old Kalajdzic, who was also traded as an addition to FC Bayern, switched from Admira Wacker in Austria to VfB in 2019 for a fee of around two million euros. Injury problems slowed him down for a long time last season, but he still scored eight points in the Bundesliga in 15 appearances (six goals, two assists).
For the attacker it would be the second cruciate ligament tear, the first he suffered immediately after moving to VfB. In a friendly against SC Freiburg in July 2019, the striker suffered a torn cruciate ligament, a torn inner ligament and a torn outer meniscus. Only seven games before the end – almost ten months after the injury – did he make his first appearance in a VfB shirt. He played for twelve minutes in the 3-2 game against Hamburger SV in the second division and scored his only goal of the season on the penultimate matchday against Nürnberg (6-0).
Diego Costa, who could now replace him at Wolverhampton Wanderers, would be available on a free transfer after resigning from his native Brazil at Clube Atlético Mineiro in January. Since then, however, he has not played a competitive game. Therefore, according to “The Athletic”, Costa should first complete a trial session on Tuesday to present his fitness and suitability.
Costa brings the experience of 52 goals in 89 Premier League games and 73 in 205 Spanish league games. Without Kalajdzic, Wolverhampton Wanderers have three strikers available in former Leipzig player Hee-chan Hwang, as well as Léo Bonatini and Raúl Jiménez.