3 Players Aston Villa may Want to Look at in January
After an impressive start to the 20/21 campaign, Dean Smith’s Aston Villa will be hoping to continue their form into the new year. The summer additions have looked great so far, with Martinez, Cash, Barkley, Watkins and Traoré all impressing at times. A fantastic display at Arsenal highlighted Villa’s key strengths.
The counter attacking ability has played a huge part of the team’s success. The pace of Trezeguet and Watkins combined with the willingness of Grealish and Barkley to run in behind, is essential to Villa’s form. The defence has also stepped up another level.
Smith seems to have figured out his best back four, and that has led to a huge improvement in results compared to last season. But with the January transfer window on the horizon, where will Villa look to strengthen? And who might those players be?
Aston Villa are firing on all cylinders, scoring in open play with every 7th shot and every 40 minutes on average.
The Lions sit sixth with a game in hand, which if won would take them top of the EPL on goal difference.
— Vizi Football (@ViziFootball) November 16, 2020
Omar Richards – Reading
The first area Villa may want to strengthen is defensively, specifically at left back. Matt Targett has had an excellent campaign so far, but if the 25 year old were to pick up an injury then Smith’s side may become unstuck. Whilst Neil Taylor is the next in line, the 31 year old’s contract is set to expire in June 2021, so naturally a replacement left back is likely to join.
This is where 22-year-old Reading full back Omar Richards comes in. Smith has always had a desire to buy young and hungry talent, and Richards certainly fits into that category. He’s played all 11 of Reading’s games so far this season and boasts a pleasing 2.6 tackles per game.
The main reason Richards would be a great fit is due to his attacking ability. He averages 0.5 key passes per game and is also fouled an average of 2.5 times. This will be a huge boost for Dean Smith, who likes to take advantage of set piece scenarios. The 22-year-old also averages 2.1 dribbles per game, with holding on to the ball being his major strength.
The Englishman is also comfortable playing as a wing back, essential for the current Villa system that pushes both Targett and Cash high up the pitch.
Overall Richards looks like a great option for Villa. He would be more than good enough to cover for Targett, possibly even pushing for a first team role. His attacking intent also fits Smith’s style, with both Cash and Targett focusing on that element of their play.
— RFC Latest (@RFCLatest) November 10, 2020
Tommy St. Jago – FC Utrecht
The next position Villa may want to look at improving is in central defence. Whilst no one looks likely to break up the Mings and Konsa duo that seems to be working well for Villa at the moment, a knock to either may cause problems for Smith.
Engels has looked solid since joining in summer 2019, but injuries have hindered his progress. With Hause now out with a groin injury too, cover at centre back is certainly something Villa will want to look into.
This makes space for FC Utrecht defender, Tommy St. Jago. The 20-year-old has made seven appearances so far this season, predominantly playing on the right of a back two. The Dutchman has a great passing ability, with a 90% pass success rate, as well as being great at tackling.
A key element of his play is his aerial prowess. He boasts an average of three aerial wins per game at a height of 6ft 1in. This is important to Smith, who traditionally looks for two aerially dominant centre halves.
The main reason I believe Smith would be interested in St, Jago, is his age. At just 20 he is already gaining valuable first team experience in the Eredivisie. He will also grow massively under the coaching of John Terry and the leadership of Tyrone Mings.
Overall St. Jago would be a fantastic signing for Villa. As a young centre back who looks to have huge potential, he would slot in nicely as a backup option, offering great competition for the current centre half pairing.
Tommy St. Jago is a very talented Dutch centre back. Very good technical ball player with a very good passing range and steps out from the back well to cut out passes.
He is slightly below average in the air for now but he still has time to bulk up and grow into his frame. pic.twitter.com/BAWwxUEebc
— Cal (@EFC_Cal) November 8, 2020
Otavio – FC Porto
The final area of the pitch Villa may be looking at bolstering is central midfield. With the signing of Barkley being a loan, Henri Lansbury being left out of the Premier League squad and Hourihane turning 30 in February- central midfield will likely be an area Smith looks at. The player brought into question is 25-year-old Otavio.
The Brazilian plays for FC Porto but his contract expires in June next year. This could be a major scoop for Smith. With Chelsea likely to demand a hefty fee for Barkley after his impressive spell, the free signing of Otavio could be a great opportunity for Villa in the summer.
So, what’s his style of play? Otavio has played in a handful of positions for FC Porto this season, with left wing, central midfield and central attacking midfield being his most natural positions. So far in Liga Nos, Otavio has registered 2.7 dribbles per game as well as winning 3.5 fouls.
These stats combined with his average of 2.7 long balls per game will massively excite Smith, who naturally encourages through balls to the likes of Watkins.
Overall if Villa were to go in for the Brazilian then he would need guaranteed game time. He may slot in as a replacement to Barkley, or perhaps as competition if he were to join permanently.
We hope you enjoyed this article ‘3 Players Aston Villa may Want to Look at in January.’ Do you think these 3 players Aston Villa could sign should make the move in the January transfer window? Let us know!
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