Transfer Roundup By Daniel Hall
There’s been a lot of ridiculous links in the past week or so from the 32-year-old free agent Joey Barton to a £20 million centre-back, but it looks like the signing of Adama Traore will at least end the continuous links to Spurs wingers (see below).
The big question is what is Tim Sherwood keen to add as his final pieces of his squad? Since the Villa boss suggested this week he has to get rid of the likes of Senderos and N’Zogbia first, perhaps there isn’t any cash in the kitty for any further sizeable transfer fee signings. Due to the amount of Premier League newbies the Villa boss has purchased there may be some last ditch deals for the odd player with English League experience.
Adama Traore (signed)
The fact that Tim Sherwood’s re-building of the squad is yet to finish, was clearly demonstrated by the capture of Adama Traore. In my opinion the transfer shows intent, for Villa to buy a 19-year-old Barcelona winger is ‘revolutionary’, considering this time last year we were getting Joe Cole for free following a release from West Ham.
The promising winger has played just four times for the Barcelona first team, but63 games for Barca B, scoring 8 in those games. The winger has played a lot of games at a reasonably high level for a player of such a young age, of which experience will help him perform in the first team. The player is exactly what Villa is missing, in a powerful and pacey right-sided player, not afraid to take on a couple of players and make things happen.
The signing of Traore perhaps means curtains for the links to the following two Spurs players…
Villa have been excessively linked with moves for Tottenham star Andros Townsend over the summer period. Townsend found himself out of favour last season, only making 17 appearances all season and scoring just twice in the time period.
The Spurs winger, does however now seem a somewhat unlikely target for Sherwood following the capture of Traore, who plays a similar position on the right-hand flank, both players also pose the threat of running at players and providing service into the box for a big striker, making it unlikely that Sherwood would target both players, especially considering the £15 million price tag that the Andros Townsend capture would require.
Although I would like Lennon at Villa, I’m hesitant to get excited about the rumours as it appears the media like to link us with every Tottenham reject there is, and again he plays the same position to Traore whom we’ve just signed.
Lennon like Townsend fell from Poccetinno’s starting 11 last season after failing to impress the Spurs boss. Lennon moved on loan to Everton last season to rack up some game time, and performed to a standard to which Everton didn’t want to buy the 28-year-old after his loan spell, so now he seeks a club to continue his playing career.
I think if Villa do sign Lennon, a loan deal would be more realistic, as Sherwood is moving out of the funds Villa gained from Benteke and Delph’s sale and into Lerner’s money, so funds might be harder to come by.
Although an experienced Premier League player may prove an asset to Villa’s current position, Lennon reminds me of Agbonlahor to an extent. He has blistering pace but a poor final product and at 28, he’s no longer an investment for the future.
An Extra Striker? Prospect or Experience?
Another linked player to B6 is Benik Afobe, who I personally would love at Villa. At the young age of 22 the Wolves’ forward will provide a younger more prolific alternative to Agbonlahor up front, and although possibly not a starter, Afobe can add goals to a somewhat goalless attack as an impact sub, especially while Gestede lacks match fitness.
Afobe has a decent goal scoring record, managing 14 goals in 22 appearance for Wolves last season and has pace to burn. It’s hard to think the rumours carry much weight, especially after Villa picked up Jordan Ayew, but this sort of transfer would be exciting for Villa, for now and for the future. Although with a lack of experience and leadership in his squad maybe Sherwood will prefer a more experienced option up front?
Speaking of experienced Premier League players, another name being thrown about this week is Michu. With rumours of the likes of Berbatov, Adebayor, etc. it seems Sherwood is indeed looking to add some experience to his front line options. Also, perhaps he needs to target a cheaper option than QPR’s Charlie Austin.
Obtaining such a player will probably only happen if there’s a decent deal in the offering in the final days of the summer transfer window.
The Villa boss has recently been quoted speaking of the importance of elder squad members, calling them a ‘big brother figure’ and Michu is no exception. A variety of newspapers in Spain claim Sherwood has spoken with the 29-year-old Swansea forward about a possible move to Villa as it has become evident after spending last season on loan at Napoli that Swansea see him as someone they want to move on.
Should Villa sign the Spanish forward, he would offer a further striking option and at 29, he can offer advice to those younger and less experienced. Michu would turn out to be a fantastic signing should he rekindle the form he showed for the Swans in the 2012-13 season scoring 18 in 35 appearances. But if he’s fallen out of favour with Swansea you have to question whether his best days are behind him.
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