Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Emery dodged a bullet with Weston McKennie transfer miss

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Aston Villa got through another January transfer window with several players making moves in and out of the club. 

In terms of their incoming transfers, Villa brought in Alex Moreno and Jhon Duran on permanent deals whilst seeing Bertrand Traore return from his loan deal with Basaksehir.

One player that was mentioned with a move to Villa Park last month but ultimately didn’t follow Moreno and Duran to the Midlands club is Weston McKennie.

After apparently seeing Villa make contact with Juventus over a potential deal for the midfielder, it was reported that the player had turned down the prospect of joining Unai Emery’s side.

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Towards the end of the window, McKennie joined Leeds United on loan until the end of the season to link up with his fellow countryman Jesse Marsch, who has now been sacked by the Yorkshire club.

In our view, we feel that missing out on securing a deal for the USMNT figure, who has been slammed in the past for his “awful” passing by journalist Chris Smith, has been a blessing in disguise for Emery and Villa.

Specifically, his efforts with Juventus, where he was picking up a weekly wage of £54k-per-week, this season before moving to Leeds didn’t see McKennie paint himself in a particularly positive light.

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For example, with 15 Serie A appearances to his name, the midfielder’s overall performances earned him a rather underwhelming season rating of 6.58/10 from WhoScored, making him one of the lowest-rated players at the club to have started more than two games.

Then, his first appearance for Leeds in their recent 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest saw the American fail to hit the ground running for his new side.

With 33 minutes under his belt, McKennie gave possession away nine times in total, as well as losing all five ground duels he was involved in and getting dribbled past on two occasions.

Taking all of this into account, even though the midfielder still has the second half of the season to show what he’s capable of, it’d be hard to think that many Villa fans would be disappointed about not seeing him move to their club last month.

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