Aston Villa have proven in recent years that they are a club who are not afraid to splash the cash, spending roughly £143.55m in 2019/20, £91.22m in 2020/21, £116.84m in 2021/22 and £63m in the summer transfer window just gone.
However, while Nassef Sawiris, Wes Edens and Johan Lange have brought a number of big-name signings to Villa Park in recent seasons – such as Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho, Boubacar Kamara, Danny Ings and Emiliano Martinez – it has been one of the club’s relatively smaller-name incomings who has arguably been one of the most impressive – that of Matty Cash.
After making an initial £14m switch from Nottingham Forest back in the summer of 2020, the defender has gone from strength to strength with the Villans, not only cementing his starting spot at right-back but also earning his first international call-up for Poland, as well as attracting some very admiring glances in the transfer market.
Indeed, the full-back made an immediate impact over his 28 Premier League appearances in his debut campaign at Villa Park, helping his side keep ten clean sheets, registering two assists and creating two big chances, in addition to making an average of 2.5 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and winning 5.0 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per game.
It was a similar story over the £65k-per-week talent’s 38 league fixtures last term, with Cash helping his side keep another ten clean sheets, scoring four goals, providing three assists and creating three big chances, as well as making an average of 2.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 0.9 dribbles and winning 4.2 duels – at a success rate of 64% – per game.
These returns saw the player who Ty Bracey dubbed “unreal” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.94, ranking him as his club’s joint fourth-best performer in the Premier League last time out.
As a result of these eye-catching performances, the 25-year-old has attracted a considerable amount of interest in the transfer market, with Atletico Madrid reportedly prepared to offer Villa £40m for the right-back in the summer window – albeit while no such offer was ultimately lodged.
As such, considering his importance to the Villa side, coupled with the fact that his £40m asking price is a whopping 186% more than the £14m the club paid for his services a little over two years ago, it is clear that Lange very much hit the jackpot when signing Cash in the summer of 2020.