Signing Ivan Santini could change Cardiff City’s fortunes in front of the goal
Ivan Santini is a Croatian national central striker who plays for Belgian top-flight team Anderlecht. This 29-year-old striker could be the solution to Cardiff’s woes of putting the ball in the back of the net. Having developed as a player at Freiburg, Santini made a name for himself at French Ligue 1 side Stade Malherbe Caen. He scored 26 goals over 2 Ligue 1 seasons for Caen.
He recently joined Anderlecht and has had a reasonably successful time at the Belgian club. Having already notched up 11 goals from 16 Jupiler League appearances, he has been a revelation.
While he only recently moved to Anderlecht, he has already gotten 5 caps for the Croatian national side and even featured from the start in their game against Spain in the UEFA Nations League. He even got himself back-to-back hat-tricks for Anderlecht over 2 games in July.
Cardiff City have often resorted to depending on their wide array of wingers for goals. Bobby Reid, Josh Murphy and Junior Hoilett have all pitched in with goals recently, barring the 4 that have been scored by make-shift centre-forward Callum Paterson. Originally a midfielder, Paterson has been in decent form in front of the goal but there is a clear lack of goals running through this side.
The addition of a prolific striker like Santini could better the attempts of Danny Ward, Gary Madine and Kenneth Zohore. Tall and an obvious figure in front of goal, 6ft3in Santini could be the perfect player to take the pressure off Paterson.
Cardiff have often depended on long balls being launched into the box. While it is sometimes aimed as a direct cross into the box from afar, most of the time the attempt is to get the ball into areas where space is available for the attacking players to run into.
This would be the perfect system for a big centre-forward who can dominate air balls. His control and movement is also impressive for a big lad and could be the key to properly unlocking Camarasa from the midfield.
While he certainly isn’t a proven Premier League centre-forward, he does seem to have the goods to develop in the English top-flight. At 29, he has already gained enough experience to handle the constant pressures of the English game. This would be a positive move for the Bluebirds if they can manage to pull it off.