Potential Aston Villa Transfer Targets
By Liam Scahill
Greetings once again from the chasms of the My Old Man Said scouting department.
With the transfer rumour gods being in benevolent mood and linking Aston Villa to some pretty juicy players this week, what happens if James Ward-Prowse is pie in the sky, as Southampton won’t want to sell?
Well, to save Villa some money, after their potential big drop on Emiliano Buendía, our cosmopolitan scout is back with a raucous bang, so sit back relax and get ready to search Youtube for some juicy ‘Skillz and Goal’ vids of some lesser-known players that perhaps-perhaps Dean Smith and Co could or should take a punt on.
This is the first four of the offerings with four to come soon in the second part.
FC Lorient – Pacy Striker
This mercurial serendipitous talent from Ligue 1 has spent the last few months flummoxing & generally bewildering defences in France.
Moffi only joined Lorient last summer when the newly promoted side parted with €8 million to sign the then-21-year-old from Belgian side Kortrijk.
The gamble paid off and akin to a certain former Villa striker plucked from the unknowns in Belgium, Moffi blasted his teammates to safety & netted 14-goals in the process.
It could be argued, he almost single-handedly helped Lorient avoid the trapdoor and the perils of Ligue 2. The young Nigerian hotshot is widely tipped to make his international debut in the coming weeks having been called up by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr.
What Moffi can offer Villa apart from the obvious goal-getting attributes is sheer pace, he is also comfortable cutting in from the wing similarly to our hard-working Watkins.
A move for Moffi could be viewed as a gamble but given the Villa ethos of seeking value and players whose value will increase, he may just prove to be a shrewd investment.
Naturally, Lorient President Loïc Féry has dismissed any rumours that the club is looking to sell Moffi in recent weeks, however every player in Ligue 1 is essentially for sale unless they apply their trade for the behemoth that is PSG.
Verdict: Could offer Smith a pacy weapon, only a matter of time before Moffi attracts the admiring glances of some big clubs.
AS Monaco – Defensive Midfielder
Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland grab most of the headlines, but young Aurélien Tchouaméni has been the beating heart of AS Monaco this season.
Tchouaméni grew up in the suburbs of Bordeaux and after just 37 games into his senior Bordeaux career, Monaco had seen enough to whisk him away to Stade Louis II, the long-standing home of both AS Monaco and the Monaco national football team.
The 21-year-old has formed an outstanding central midfield partnership with Youssouf Fofana, another talented prospect, whom will also be attracting admiring glances from some of Europe’s footballing powerhouses.
Tchouaméni’s Monaco acclimatisation of course was not all plane-sailing, the talented youngster was on the fringes of his new team until he was propelled into a key role this season by former Bayern Munich coach Kovac.
Many a European footballing connoisseur may view Tchouaméni as step above Villa’s reach at this juncture, but he ticks so many boxes of what Villa’s midfield is yearning for, he is impossible to overlook.
The 6ft youngster has churned out a multitude of mature and disciplined performances, playing nearly every minute of the Ligue 1 season. He is athletic-agile-combative everything that is required to be a defensive midfielder and miraculously he even finds time to plunder a few goals & assists.
Verdict: Could very soon become one of the hottest properties in European football.
AC Sparta Prague – Winger/Centre Forward
Who? Many of you may ask. But we implore you to remember the name. This Sparta Prague teenager is named in the Czech Republic squad for the European Championship and may very well surprise quite a few defenders and viewers alike should he get some minutes.
Hložek is one of football’s apprentice-magicians and at just 18-years-old he is quite exciting. The goalscoring winger of Czezh origin is naturally attracting a plethora of predictable rumours linking him with West Ham, following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Tomáš Souček & Vladimír Coufal.
As with many attacking-upstarts the youngster is often used out wide, but his future may very well be as a centre forward.
His tall frame indicates plenty of potential for physical growth in the future and he could do with pumping a few weights if he comes to B6.
Hložek missed several games in the Czech league this season due to an injury but he still scored 11 goals and set up another seven in his 18 appearances. He also became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the competition.
If this promising talent is given “Carte Blanche” to negotiate English & Scottish defences this summer, he may become a household name on British Isles sooner rather than later.
Verdict: A prospective unearthed gem, whether Villa are prepared to take such recruitment risks is the problem.
ACF Fiorentina – Skilful “Bigman” Striker
Hothead and nemesis of Graham Souness, Mr. Gennaro Gattuso has recently been announced as the new Fiorentina manager, so what better time for this skillful Serbian to get the hell out of there!
Vlahović would no doubt be a major coup for Villa, if Lange and Co sanctioned a major outlay, but he is just too damn exciting to ignore. Often linked with a transfer to Liverpool and Manchester Unitd in recent times, the Serbian hotshot smashed in 21 goals for the La Viola in Serie A this season.
The 21-year-old joined the Italians from Partizan back in 2018 and he may well be ready for a move as he prepares for a summer on the beach following Serbia’s exit from the Euro-Playoffs at the hands of McGinn’s Scotland.
Fiorentina finished an underwhelming 13th in Serie A this season and it was a campaign full of upheaval and flux with manager responsibilities divided between Beppe Lachini and Cesare Prandelli collective stewardships.
Vlahović’s physical strength and tall stature makes him an idyllic target for the defensive out ball but don’t let his size fool you. Yes he is excellent at holding the ball up when in possession, a constant aerial threat during set pieces but likewise he is fleet of foot and skilful to boot.
Never has the old-adage, “he’s got a great touch for a big-man” been more fitting for a player in modern times.
Verdict: An absolute star but would require a significant investment.