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Aston Villa: Emery must revive Jonathan David move

Aston Villa have turned a corner under Unai Emery, recording wins over Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League since he took over at the end of October.

The January transfer market is fast approaching, allowing Emery to add a few new faces to his squad as he looks to take the club into the top half of the table.

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It may also be a chance for the Spaniard to move a few players on who have underperformed this season, and Ollie Watkins might be at risk due to his poor form.

The £75k-per-week hitman – who was once dubbed a “beast in training” by journalist Gregg Evans – has sorely lacked the goalscoring instinct that saw Villa splash out £28m for him back in 2020.

The 26-year-old has scored just three goals this term which considering his talents is a poor return and as a result, Emery should revive a move that Villa failed to get over the line in the summer for Jonathan David.

David was first linked with Villa before the summer transfer window opened, however, Steven Gerrard failed to bring him to England and it looks like a big mistake, especially with their goalscoring woes during the first half of the season.

If the Spaniard wishes to sign him in January, it may cost over €50m (£43m), but it would be worth it, with the 22-year-old scoring nine goals and registering three assists in just 15 games this season for LOSC Lille.

The forward would be a much better option than Watkins, and so far this term he has registered more shots on target per match (1.56 to 1.15), more shot-creating actions (44 to 31), and succeeded with more dribble attempts (38.2% to 27.8%) than the Englishman this term.

His stock might rise even further during the World Cup. Despite Canada losing their opening two matches, they haven’t played badly, more a case of being outdone by experience at the highest level.

John Herdman, the Canada manager lavished the 22-year-old with praise before the tournament while speaking to talkSPORT: “Jonathan is one of those silent assassins. He’s very clued up tactically and that’s what I really enjoy about Jonathan, he really wants to get into the details of the game and understand the pressing tactics.

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“The forwards at times want to understand other elements, he knows he’s going to lead that defensive line and will get into the details of that with you.”

There is no doubt Emery will be keeping an eye on players at the World Cup ahead of January, and David has more than earned a move to the Premier League, where he will only continue to improve.