Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Journalist claims Gerrard wants £33m-rated striker

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Aston Villa are looking at bringing in £33m-rated Stade Reims striker Hugo Ekitike in the summer transfer window in order to add depth to the position, according to journalist Jacque Talbot.

The Villans have flown into the summer transfer window having already signed Philippe Coutinho to a permanent deal as well as former Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer and Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos for £26 million.

Despite the early success, it looks like Villa brass has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon as more rumours have come to the surface regarding the midlands team’s intentions, including the possibility of signing free agent Luis Suarez and more recently Stade Reims’ 19-year-old Hugo Ekitike.

Talbot revealed the possible transfer as he believes they need to add some youth but will have to battle it put with some of the biggest clubs around Europe, including French champions PSG.

He told GiveMeSport: “I feel that they need to invest a little bit in sort of the youth, so to speak. Not necessarily completely ready-made, but someone who’s near enough that.

“I think they’ll look at Hugo Ekitike. I’m told that he’s been shown around a few places like PSG, Dortmund, Newcastle, and I’m sure Aston Villa and clubs like that will be looking at him as well.”

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TIF Thoughts on Villa signing Ekitike…

As Talbot stated, Villa needs to add some youth to their front line as Leon Bailey remains their only forward under the age of 25 and he failed to impress this season after his £28.8m move from Bayern Leverkusen with only one goal and two assists to his name.

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Ekitike, who has been described as a ‘very special’ player by his manager Oscar Garcia, would surely surpass Bailey in the pecking order after bagging 10 goals and four assists for Stade Reims as they finished 12th in Ligue 1 this past season. You can see why Villa are looking at the 19-year-old when you look at his FBRef stats, he ranks in the 93rd percentile for non-penalty goals, the 97th for dribbles completed, and 84th for progressive carries which measures how many forward carries towards the opposition’s goal the player makes per game over five yards.

One key attribute that it also shows is his defensive capabilities from the wing, he ranks in the 99th percentile for interceptions, 86th for tackles, 81st for clearances, 77th for pressures and 73rd for blocks. Not only does he have the potential to contribute going forward, but he can be relied on defensively as well, a huge up-side for a player in the Premier League.

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