An impressive transfer window has seen Steven Gerrard bring in quality such as Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos, while also making Philippe Coutinho’s loan move permanent, and hopes were high heading into the new season.
An opening day defeat to promoted Bournemouth was disappointing, and even though they bounced back to record a win against Everton, the result was largely overshadowed by a serious injury to Carlos.
It was revealed after the match that the Brazilian had ruptured his Achilles tendon and would miss the majority of the campaign in a setback that the manager was surely looking to avoid.
A replacement will be required, and fast, if Gerrard wants to take Villa to the next level, and a move for Abdou Diallo could be his main priority.
The Paris Saint-Germain defender has recently been linked with a move to Villa Park in order to gain more playing time. He moved to the French capital from Borussia Dortmund three years ago in a €32m (£27m) deal.
He has played 75 times for PSG in three campaigns, but with only 16 appearances last term and none in the early weeks of this season, it appears that he could be on his way out of the club.
This lack of game-time shouldn’t put Gerrard off, as Diallo’s talent could be well suited to the Villa defence. In the 26-year-old’s most productive season in Paris during 2020/21, he won 60% of his duels, made 1.1 interceptions per match and held a staggering 93% pass accuracy, all of which indicates that his all-round defensive game is excellent when he is playing regularly.
His “physical” ability could see him thrive in the Premier League and he has proven himself at a high level, playing an ever-present role for Senegal as they won their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title at the start of this year, scoring once along the way.
A move could work out well for both parties, with Gerrard in urgent need of a defender of Diallo’s class and the player seeking more game-time in the run-up to the World Cup in November.
Lange could seal a move for the ideal Carlos replacement, but he will need to act quickly in order to get a deal over the line, with the transfer window closing next Thursday night.