Kortney Hause Loan Move Trigger
Aston Villa centre-back Kortney Hause completed a season-long loan to Watford, which surely means Villa will be announcing a new centre-back signing any day soon, ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.
Kortney Hause was slated for a loan move out of Aston Villa much earlier in the transfer window, but his rehabilitation from injury slowed the process down. When new centre-back signing Diego Carlos unfortunately picked up a long-term ruptured Achilles tendon injury though, Steven Gerrard had hinted publicly, that Hause’s presence in the squad meant Villa didn’t need to panic to get another centre-back in.
“I don’t think there’s an urgent need,” said Gerrard. “We’ve still got three fully-fit centre halves that are ready to go, we’ve got Kortney Hause that’s just joined the group and is back in full training, and we’ve got some fantastic young kids that are brewing in the background as well.”
The fact that Hause had only just returned to training last week, after a reasonably long lay-off, suggested that suitors might not be lining up for an unfit and rusty player. Ideally, a team needs at least four centre-backs in their squad, so Hause would have been ok as a fourth centre-back for Villa.
Villa lost a good chunk of their £26m investment in Diego Carlos, since he’ll miss the majority of this season. Aged 29, the centre-back was very much bought in for the here and now. So, you’d have forgiven Villa for not wishing to rashly throw more money at the position, since they’d have to get a centre-back in that was going to start above Konsa and Chambers.
Such money, it could be argued, would be better spent on the midfield, which like getting Boubacar Kamara in, would potentially improve the team defensively as a unit anyway.
Now that Hause has sealed a season-long deal at Watford, it surely must mean that Villa have a deal in place in principle for a centre-back, or it would be considered reckless to go from a squad of five centre-backs to three central-backs and do nothing about it.
An excuse of ‘Kamara can cover at centre-back too’, just won’t wash with supporters at this stage, if the club are serious about their ambitions to challenge higher up the Premier League.
Man Most Likely
Villa’s most likely target according to recent reports is Southampton’s Polish international centre-back, Jan Bednarek. Villa have been mooted to have already made an approach and although Bednarek started Southampton’s opening two games of the season, the Pole was on the bench for the Saints’ weekend 2-1 win at Leicester City. With Armel Bella-Kotchap and Mohammed Salisu making up their centre-back partnership at the King Power stadium and the fact Southampton will still have five centre-backs to choose from, if Bednarek did leave for Villa Park, there’s certainly potential for it to happen.
The question is on what basis? Villa ideally would want a loan, if it’s simply to cover Carlos, but would the Saints really sanction a loan to a rival, unless there was a decent loan fee to be gained? Since Bednarek is contracted until June 2025, if Villa were thinking about a permanent deal, its thought a fee that doubles to trebles the £5m they originally paid Lech Poznań, five years ago, would potentially seal the deal.
With Ezri Konsa short on form having come back from injury and Calum Chambers maybe lacking the physical profile to be considered a regular centre-back starter (considering the rest of the team isn’t the tallest), then Bednarek would be considered the starter. Certainly, the Polish national coach Czesław Michniewicz would be happy with such a move, as it would team up Bednarek with Poland teammate Matty Cash, potentially improving their understanding in a back four, ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.