The Croatian international was signed by Villa boss John Gregory for £5.8 million in 2001. Unfortunately when he turned up it became apparent that he was lazy, didn’t like to train and wasn’t really that good a finisher. He never started a Premier League game for Villa, made only 9 appearances in total and never scored a goal for them. He was loaned back to previous club Dinamo where he bizarrely found the net with alarming regularity. Alas, his goalscoring exploits with Dinamo weren’t enough to save his skin and Balaban was released in December 2003.
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