Aston Villa were heavily linked with Porto winger Otavio during the summer transfer window and the Portuguese star could have represented a big upgrade on Leon Bailey in Steven Gerrard’s side.
Reports late in the window suggested that the Midlands outfit had submitted several bids for the 27-year-old but he would remain with the Primeira Liga giants.
Had he made the move to Villa Park, he would have likely competed with Bailey for a starting spot on the right-hand side and considering their respective form in recent seasons, it seems likely that the Portugal international would have come out on top.
Last season saw Otavio contribute three goals and 11 assists in the Portuguese top flight, averaging an impressive 7.44 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Bailey, meanwhile, was extremely disappointing in his debut Premier League campaign, managing just one goal and two assists in 18 appearances, averaging a poor 6.40 rating from WhoScored, though some of that was due to his injury problems.
The former Leverkusen man also averaged fewer shots (1.2 vs 1.6), key passes (0.4 vs 2.2) and dribbles (0.7 vs 1.1) than Otavio per game last season, which suggests that the Porto man had the edge in almost every attacking aspect, not only getting into better areas to contribute in the final third but also being a consistent source of creativity.
Bailey has also been in the limelight recently after his agent publicly spoke out about his lack of opportunities at the club, which suggests that he could be a disruptive influence in the dressing room and the sort of player that Gerrard doesn’t want in the squad.
Otavio, meanwhile, has been an ever-present at Porto in recent seasons, making 242 appearances for the club, in which he has contributed 24 goals and 62 assists.
He has worked hard during that time to establish himself in the international side and was dubbed “phenomenal” by journalist Alex Goncalves after impressing for Portugal earlier this year.
The Porto star’s 2.2 key passes last season is also far more than any player in Villa’s side has managed so far this season, with Jacob Ramsay’s 1.3 per game the highest in Gerrard’s squad, so he surely would have loved a player of Otavio’s quality this season.