Even though Aston Villa have already been rather busy during the current January transfer window by securing deals for Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne and Robin Olsen, it seems as though there is one player currently in the Premier League that the club are eyeing for a potential swoop before the end of the month.
In a recent online Q&A for Birmingham Live, Villa journalist Ashley Preece revealed in one answer that Manchester United’s £18m-rated attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard is “admired” by the Midlands club.
When asked another question if Villa should be looking at making a move to sign the 29-year-old this month, Preece replied: “[Jaden] Philogene-Bidace now heading to Stoke on loan, and Trezeguet looking to be loaned out, there could be scope but Newcastle are expected to step up their interest and take him this month rather than for free in the summer.”
As Preece mentioned in the Q&A, Newcastle United have been heavily linked with a loan move for Lingard this month as they look to strengthen their squad so that they can avoid relegation this term.
With that in mind, it could potentially be an issue for Villa if they do want to make a move for the Englishman, who has previously been described as “unique” in terms of his playing style by former United midfielder and coach Michael Carrick, this month.
However, if Lingard doesn’t want to spend the rest of the season trying to drag Newcastle away from being relegated, Villa could be a much more tempting destination for him under the management of Steven Gerrard.
Even if Villa and Johan Lange don’t manage to sign him this month, his contract at the Manchester club is set to expire at the end of the season, which could make him a viable summer target as a free agent.
As an attacking midfielder who can score goals and provide assists from multiple positions, including both flanks, Lingard could be Villa’s ideal replacement for Jack Grealish, who joined Manchester City over the summer after occupying the same positions at Villa Park while delivering goals and assists aplenty.
Also, with Lingard racking up more shots per game (2.6) during his loan spell with West Ham last season in the Premier League than Grealish managed with Villa (1.9), the 29-year-old could prove to be more of a goal threat for Villa than what their former captain had offered.