The January transfer window is well and truly open. Names are being linked with Cardiff City left, right and centre as the Bluebirds look to strengthen their squad in their quest for survival.
The latest name linked is Anderlecht’s striker Ivan Santini. A Croatian international, the striker has links to Cardiff’s owner Vincent Tan, having played for his other club Kortrijk between 2013-2015.
Santini bagged 30 goals in 69 games at Kortrijk, before completing a move to Belgian giants Standard Liege. 12 goals in 28 games saw Santini earn a move to French’s top division with Caen, where he spent two seasons.
In France, Santini became the first Croatian player since Dado Pršo to score at least 10 goals in Ligue 1. 26 goals in 66 games for Caen was a good return and he was snapped up in the summer by Belgian giants Anderlecht, where he plays now.
In his 15 games this season, Santini has scored 11 goals.
At 29, Santini would surely represent a short term option up front, but that’s exactly what Cardiff need. They cannot pin their hopes on a young striker, as they did with Andreas Cornelius in our first Premier League season.
So what about Santini? We spoke to Belgian football journalist Sven Claes about the striker and what he could bring to Cardiff City.
On his style of play…
Santini is a tall striker, so he’s very good with his head. He scored 7 goals within the first 3 matches of the season. Everyone in Belgium was surprised by that, but they were easy goals!
Afterwards he only scored four goals in four months… so he started really well but then he showed his level.
On his natural eye for goal…
Haha! Natural eye for goal? Not really! But he is often in the right place at the right time, so shows good quality. But I don’t like him – he struggles a lot with the ball.
On his struggles…
Anderlecht is doing really bad for the moment in Belgium and Santini even lost his spot in the starting eleven. The former coach of Anderlecht, Hein Vanhaezebrouck, chose for Landry Dimata above him… not a good sign for an experienced striker like him, with a lot of teenagers in the squad.
On the rumoured £5 million fee…
I can understand he wants to leave. £5 million is an honest bid, they paid only £3 million for him last summer.
You can follow Sven Claes on Twitter here.
Scott is a lifelong Cardiff City fan and freelance football writer. Scott hosts the VFTN podcast.