The signing of Barcelona and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessié would be “a real statement signing” for Aston Villa and Unai Emery.
That is the opinion of journalist Pete O’Rourke, who was speaking to This is Futbol about the latest transfer news from Villa Park.
According to sources in Italy, Barcelona have identified Villa and Brazil midfielder Douglas Luiz as a potential transfer target, and could attempt to use Kessié in a potential deal to bring the Brazilian to the Nou Camp.
The same sources reported earlier this year that the West Midlands giants had presented the Ivorian with an interesting proposition, before the midfielder eventually joined the Catalan giants in the summer.
And O’Rourke believes that Kessié is somebody who has “all the attributes to be a success in England” and would represent a statement signing for the club.
“He’s a good player, a good CV and somebody who seems to have all the attributes to be a success in England, because he’s a hard-working midfielder with good energy.
“It could be a real statement signing for Unai Emery if he wants to get him.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Rourke’s comments…
We believe that Villa fans would be delighted to add Kessié to their midfield this season, with the former AC Milan representing something of a coup for the West Midlands side.
Despite struggling at Barcelona this season, the midfielder, who has been described as a “tank” by David Amoyal, has got an impressive Serie A record with the Milanese giants, having scored seven goals and provided one assist in 39 appearances from the middle of the park last season, according to Transfermarkt.
The 25-year-old also ranks in the top 10% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues as well as the Champions League and Europa League for non-penalty goals scored per 90 minutes (0.19) over the last 365 days according to FBref, suggesting he could offer a goal threat behind strikers Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins.
Therefore, we think that Kessié would represent a fantastic signing for Villa and Emery, with the midfielder having the potential to launch the side into the top-half of the table in the second-half of the campaign.