With Adama Traore now being moved on after many fans thought he could’ve provided the width and pace Villa needed this season, Roberto Di Matteo and his team have worked hard to capture Middlesbrough’s Albert Adomah. A player that perhaps comes with more reliability in his game than the departed Traore.
The club’s second Ghanaian has put pen to paper on a four-year contract (with Traore moving the other way).
Is Adomah the missing link in terms of creativity and dimension on the right-hand flank? Lets take a closer look…
Adomah Jumps Ship
Despite the 28-year-old winger finally getting a taste of the Premier League, Adomah didn’t seem to be guaranteed a first XI starting place and rejected a contract extension from his old club. This opened the door for Villa to snatch in and take him off their hands in a package potentially tied in with Adama Traore going the other way.
While the financials aren’t disclosed, ultimately it’s a like-for-like swap, even if either club would admit it. Surely Villa would have pocketed some extra transfer fee too? Considering the length of contract and Traore’s age, compared to Adomah being in the last year of his contract.
Whether it’s a good deal from a finanical POV in the long-term remains to be seen, but in terms of the here and now, it’s a reasonably positive deal for a player who’s experienced the taste of promotion from the Championship.
Either way, this signing will certainly add more unpredictability to our attack and give it added pace and power down the wing. We’ve lacked a winger who can chip in with a good rate of goals and assists, so hopefully Adomah can provide that for us in a league he knows very well.
Middlesbrough Fans’ Reaction
Many Boro fans were disappointed to see Adomah leave but feel that he hasn’t got the right quality to compete in the Premier League, making the move logical. Even still, they were sad to see their winger leave as he was a big part in their promotion last season and performed brilliantly when he was in the right mood.
It’s always a good sign when the opposition team is sad to see the player you’re buying leave and that was the general consensus in the Middlesbrough camp.
What the Winger offers
First off, this six-foot-one attacker adds to our already well established group of tall players in the first team, which certainly brings a physical entity that was missing in previous seasons. Furthermore, not only does Adomah offer height, but he also offers an immense amount of speed when it comes to taking players one-on-one.
He’s very direct in his approach and likes to run at opposition defenders whenever he has the chance.
When he’s on the ball, you’ll see him cut inside more often than not as he’s fairly capable on both feet in striking the ball. Moreover, despite being an attacking player, his old boss Aitor Karanka made sure that he became a more rounded player and put a shift in defensively. So expect him to put the miles in when it comes to tracking back.
In terms of end product, Adomah has already proven that he can provide a solid number of goals and assists from the wing, as he’s banged in 24 goals in his last three championship seasons. Notching up to 12 in one of his campaigns, which is excellent for a player out wide. Furthermore, when it comes to assists he’s also managed to rack up 15 in those three previous seasons as well, which adds evidence to the fact that he’s a real attacking threat in the Championship.
Many wingers can burn themselves out in a long season through injuries and fatigue but again this ex-Barnet and Bristol City servant proves that he can get involved in a long 46 game calendar.
Again, in the last three championship seasons he’s competed in, he’s managed to add up 10,411 minutes on the pitch for Boro and his ‘games played’ have never dipped lower than 36 in a season (compare that to Traore!).
This shows we can rely on him to be available for the majority of the match days, which is a bonus for any promotion seeking team.
As well as previously playing with Ritchie De Laet for a short spell, which obviously improves chemistry when it comes to that partnership down the right-wing, Adomah has represented his country alongside our very own Jordan Ayew. We now have a Ghanaian link in attack, which will hopefully mean Ayew will smile a bit more in matches.
In all seriousness, this little link on the pitch might prove to be vital when it comes to our new signing gelling in with his new teammates.
Although Adomah will help freshen up the place with his speed and width, like many wingers he can be very inconsistent. One thing that the Middlesbrough fans did highlight was that he can only perform to a high level when he’s ‘on his game’ or ‘in the mood’. This is obviously a concern because we could very well see him go missing in a few games which isn’t ideal. Especially if it’s a crucial tie against a promotion rival.
Furthermore, his age might be a problem for a few fans at 28, but obviously the key concern now is buying players that can get us promoted this season and then we can think to the future when we get back to where we belong.
On the whole, Abomah represents a solid signing in terms of the season ahead, as we certainly needed a new winger and new set of legs to speed up the whole attacking threat.
Not only does this signing solve that problem for us, but it also adds depth to the squad as a whole, increasing the depth of the bench as well.
Strikers rarely score goals on their own and certainly this is a signing that will provide great assistance to them from the right-hand side and ultimately give the Villa team a more balanced look about it.
We’ll be discussing all of Villa’s signings on the next episode of the My Old Man Said Aston Villa podcast show. Subscribe and listen for free here – iTunes / Soundcloud / Tunein / Acast / Stitcher / PlayerFM
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