With the 2022 January transfer window now open, this will pave the way for Premier League teams to chop and change their squads however they see fit before the end of the current season.
With new manager Steven Gerrard at the helm, it seems likely that he will want to use the backing and financial power of Aston Villa’s hierarchy to make his mark on the squad at Villa Park and potentially kickstart a European push in the second half of their Premier League campaign.
One area that could be looked at this month in terms of bringing some new players in could be in the midfield positions, especially with current Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba suffering a serious knee injury last month.
In a recent club-by-club transfer guide from the Daily Mail, they have linked Villa with a move for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, who could be an ideal replacement for Nakamba while he’s out injured.
Since joining the German club back in the 2017 summer transfer window, the 25-year-old, who is currently valued at £24.3m according to Transfermarkt has made a total of 144 appearances across all competitions for Monchengladbach, chipping in with 11 goals and eight assists in the process.
Labelled as a “complete” player by former Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose, Zakaria has certainly shown this season why he has been described as complete, particularly in a defensive sense by racking up an average of 1.5 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.2 clearances per game in the Bundesliga this season according to WhoScored.
To put those numbers into perspective, looking at Nakamba’s defensive statistics so far this season, with the Villa midfielder having racked up a higher number of tackles per game but fewer interceptions and clearances in the Premier League, Zakaria could well be a better all-round midfield option for Gerrard alongside the likes of John McGinn and Douglas Luiz.
Also, with Villa letting a 1-0 lead in their recent Premier League clash away at Brentford slip out of their hands ending in a 2-1 defeat, perhaps adding someone with Zakaria’s defensive capabilities would be just what Villa need.
With this in mind, Villa’s current sporting director Johan Lange should definitely launch a move to sign Zakaria this month and potentially solve Gerrard’s midfield issue.