Gary Megson worked overtime this summer to strengthen the Trotters squad. Prior to yesterday, Bolton had acquired six new players. Yet, Bolton are still to register a point in the league and, coupled with the ginger Mourinhoâ€™s public criticism of Johan Elmander, it is not unsurprising that with just hours to go to the transfer deadline a loan deal was agreed with Nantes for their 29 year old striker Ivan Klasnic.
Klasnic was born in Hamburg and began his career with St Pauli, a club in the second tier of the Bundesliga with whom he made 95 appearances, scoring 26 goals. After helping the club to the first tier of the Bundesliga he made a move to Werder Bremen, one of Germanyâ€™s bigger clubs.
The striker made an inauspicious start at Bremen. In his first two seasons he made 35 appearances and bagged a measly three goals. It was not until the 2003-2004 season that he showed German crowds what he could do. He scored 13 goals and registered 13 assists, helping Werder to the Bundesliga and Cup double. The following season he netted 10 goals and he improved on this in 2005-2006 scoring a career high 15 goals.
As a young player that was improving quickly he became a favourite with the fans. Following a minor operation to remove his appendix, though, disaster struck and Klasnic was diagnosed with a rare kidney condition. Doctors tried to combat the condition with a cocktail of drugs, but by late 2006 it was clear his kidney was failing and he needed a transplant.
He could have carried on having dialysis three times a week and waited for a compatible kidney to become available from a recently deceased donor, but at 26 Klasnic required the operation sooner rather than later if he wanted to resume his playing career. His mother donated one of her kidneys and five days later, on Klasnic’s 27th birthday, doctors told him his body had rejected it. His father then stepped in and Klasnic received his kidney. This time, his body accepted the new organ and within a year he was back playing for Bremen.
After a long layoff coupled with a new organ, Klasnic failed to rediscover his form. He did not agree to a contract extension and made his way to Nantes. In his one season in France he scored 10 goals in 33 games.
In his prime Klasnic was a fearsome target man. He was strong as an ox but also was surprisingly fast. This enabled him to make a nuisance of himself in the air and in the channels running in behind full-backs and holding the ball up until supporting players arrived. He is left footed and scores most of his goals in the box feeding on crosses and goal-mouth melees.
Although he was born in Germany he decided to play for Croatia, the land of his parents. He made his international debut in 2004 but has never established himself as an ever present member of the first eleven.
Bolton desperately need to score goals this season and with a misfiring forward line all does not bode well. Megson clearly feels the need that the Trotters need some presence upfront and claimed that scouts had watched the striker on countless occasions.
Nevertheless the loan signing of a player that has never come close to recapturing his best form since his kidney transplant is like pinning the tail on a donkey blindfolded. Bolton need goals now, Klasnic has no settling in period he needs to perform immediately, unfortunately we do not believe he will.
Video evidence of Ivan Klasnic in his pomp can be seen here.