In their 33 top-flight games so far in 2021/22, the Villans have conceded 46 goals and scored 44, which doesn’t say much for their defence.
One of Villa’s more prominent defensive figures has been Tyrone Mings, who has played in 31 league games in the current campaign.
Looking ahead to the upcoming summer transfer window, it seems as though the Midlands club have identified one player for a potential swoop who could come in and strengthen their backline as a possible upgrade on the England international.
According to a recent report from Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness), Villa have joined the race to sign Mainz defender Jerry St. Juste alongside fellow Premier League duo Leicester City and West Ham United.
The centre-back joined the German club back in 2019 from Dutch outfit Feyenoord. Since then, the 25-year-old has made 69 appearances for his current employers across all competitions, chipping in with three goals and three assists along the way.
This season has been rather disappointing for the Dutchman, who has only played in nine games as a result of a troubling shoulder injury.
However, his previous campaign with Mainz showed just how much of a reliable and capable defender he can be.
Comparing his 2020/21 Bundesliga season with Mings’ corresponding campaign in the Premier League with Villa, the £16k-per-week defender trumped the Englishman on numerous aspects.
For example, despite playing four fewer games than the 29-year-old, the Mainz brute made more tackles, pressures and interceptions than the Villa centre-back. The Dutchman also racked up a higher pass completion percentage (81.5%) than the Villa defender (79.6%), showing how capable he is on the ball and also when having to defend without it.
In addition, St. Juste managed to get through the entire season without making an error which led to an opposition shot, whereas Mings made five in total.
Labelled by Mainz manager Bo Svensson as “someone who gives absolutely everything in order to make the team better”, the £14.4m-rated centre-back could be an ideal signing for the Villans to try and strengthen their defensive ranks.
Moving forward, Villa should do all they can to bring the Mainz ace to the Midlands in the summer and see if he can make Steven Gerrard’s side a tougher proposition for opponents.