Aston Villa are looking increasingly likely to lose Jordan Amavi after Steve Bruce purposely left him out of the opening day squad against Hull City.
After Sevilla’s attempt to buy the 23-year-old floundered earlier in pre-season, Amavi has been linked with several clubs in recent weeks, and it now seems that a move away is finally crystallising.
Currently, it’s reported that his former club Nice, Marseille, Fiorentina (who have already bought Jordan Veretout and Carlos Sanchez off Villa) and Galatasaray, are all in the hunt for the French left-back. With Marseille the current favourites for his services.
Four teams come offers now. Jordan is fit no medical issue, if amount is right, we won’t stand on the way.
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) August 6, 2017
In terms of Villa getting their house in order in terms of Financial Fair Play, Amavi was always top of the sell list due to the potential transfer fee he could command.
Considering the player cost a reported £10m and he can’t get into the current Villa first XI, if the club can recoup anywhere close to the fee they bought him for, it’s only natural the Villa board would take any bids seriously.
Some supporters though, would have seen the breakdown of his transfer to Sevilla and the prospect of keeping him, as a blessing in disguise.
However, there’s no way the player will want to play second fiddle in the Championship, if he wants to get his career back on track. After all, he was originally tipped to be the French national team’s left-back at one stage.
Amavi can cover both left-back and left-wing, which Villa desperately need over the course of the season, with options currently limited.
If Amavi went, Neil Taylor would be left without any seasoned back-up at left-back, since Aly Cissokho and Nathan Baker both departed in the summer.
Further up the field, Villa only really have Andre Green as a natural left-winger. While it would be the right step to give the young winger a go, his final ball and decision making are questionable at the moment, so he’s still very much a work in progress.
While Green can only benefit from games, the 19-year-old can’t be expected to play every game in a long season.
Options So Far
In the event of Amavi departing, Villa will perhaps need both a left-back and left midfielder to feel comfortable tackling this season.
Certainly, the breakdown of the Sevilla deal for the French full back now proves to be unfortunate, as it leaves Villa needing to fix an issue with the squad, after the season has already started, which is far from ideal in terms of planning.
So far, Villa have just been attached with young wingers in the past week.
Firstly, there’s the link to Huddersfield winger Joe Lolley.
Lolley was part of Birmingham City’s academy, but is actually an Aston Villa fan, which will give him instant plus points with some fans Although, hopefully, he would be more successful than the last Villa fan that the club signed, Joleon Lescott.
Ironically, it was a foot injury Lolley picked up playing against Villa for Huddersfield last season, that sidelined him for five months and resulted in dropping to the outskirts of David Wagner’s first team plans for the Terriers first season in the Premier League.
The right-footed Lolley is mainly a right-winger, but can play on the other wing and attacking midfield.
It’s fair to say the main reason he was initially linked was due to Jack Grealish’s injury, but the swift capture of Spurs’ youngster Josh Onomah, has probably seen the reality of any interest dissolve.
Another option is to loan 20-year-old Liverpool winger, Ryan Kent, who can perhaps claim more legitimately to play on both wings.
After spending a season on loan at Barnsley, Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp’s recent praise may see him have a chance of being part of Liverpool’s plans this season with their Champions League involvement needing them to have a bigger squad to tackle their increased fixture list.
With Villa needing desperately to build a team for promotion and seeking depth and options on the left-hand, at least another genuine left-footer will be needed.
Villa started against Hull City on the opening day with Gabby Agbonlahor floating in from the left side, but like Jonathan Kodjia occasionally doing the same from the right side last season, it’s only a short-term fix.
Yes, Agbonlahor scored, but you could argue, a better balanced team with the players in tune with each other’s positions, would have won the Hull game by half-time.
If Neil Taylor gets injured or whether Andre Green impresses or not, Villa will need other options, rather than short-term fixes, if their credentials for promotion this season are to be taken seriously.
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