Jores Okore Verdict
MOMS speaks to the Michael Qureshi, the Danish journalist who first broke the news in the media of Aston Villa’s interest in their new signing Jores Okore. So, is Mr Okore any good?
Paul Lambert’s Villa revolution is beginning to move through the gears, and the signing of highly-rated 20-year-old Danish centre-back Jores Okore from FC Nordsjaelland is perhaps the signing that has raised the most eyebrows in the Premiership
The defender is considered one of Danish football’s brightest young talents, and has had a host of Premiership clubs monitoring him.
Okore was reportedly recommended to Manchester United by ex-United, Villa and Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel in December, and it has been recently revealed that he also turned down a move to Chelsea in January in order to continue playing first-team football.
“What a scoop for Villa,” Danish journalist Michael Qureshi told MOMS, when asked to give an insight into the young Danish defender. “He is one of the most exciting defenders in Denmark at the moment – I see him playing besides Daniel Agger in the future for the national team.”
Okore broke into the Danish national team in November 2011 at the age of 19 and has since made seven appearances for his country.
The young Danish defender is another example of Lambert’s policy of reducing both the wage bill and the average age at the club, with the Ivorian-born Dane taking the place of the ailing Richard Dunne at the club.
Qureshi’s views also echo former-Villa player Martin Laursen, who was also high in his praise for Okore in a recent interview.
“He’s very fast and physically really strong and is definitely one of the best defenders in Denmark,” Laursen insisted. “He’s got the qualities to become a very good centre-half and I think the Premier League will suit him.”
Despite saying, Okore had the “right mentality”, Laursen also offered a few words of caution about his positional play due to inexperience, something that Oureshi also echoes.
“He proved himself in the Champions League, but he still have a lot to learn I think,” said Qureshi. “Sometimes he makes his mistakes too easily, I mean he often bets everything on one tackle and sometimes misses and then the striker is clear. I think it’s a wise step to come to Villa and play regularly.”
With Okore born in the Ivory Coast, Qureshi offers the Danish defender has a good combination of nationalities.
“His body is from the African side and then he has the Danish discipline and tactical smartness – so it’s quite a good combination!”
Okore’s arrival means that Villa now have nine defenders in their first-team squad with only two, Ron Vlaar and the soon-to-leave Alan Hutton, being over the age of 24.
Although Villa’s naivety in defence was exposed ruthlessly at times this season, the young backline notably began to gel towards the latter stages of the campaign and Lambert is evidently continuing to place his faith in youth for the foreseeable future.
Okore will have to compete with Vlaar, Philippe Senderos*, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker for one of Villa’s centre-back places next season, but judging by the ever-rising reputation with which he arrives at Villa Park, this may be one of Lambert’s more astute signings.
Although Youtube compilations can be dangerous ground for fans trying to assess a new signing, here’s one of Jores Okore anyway:
Thanks to Michael Qureshi for his insights on Jores Okore
* – Updated, Senderos added.
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