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Aston Villa: McKennie could be perfect Luiz partner

With the recently-appointed Unai Emery looking to usher in the new era at Aston Villa, he has unsurprisingly been linked with plenty of his old players that already know him well.

Villarreal at the club that seems to have been targeted, with Pau Torres and Yeremy Pino hot favourites to make the switch.

However, as was seemingly the case with Steven Gerrard, the Spaniard will want to address a midfield sorely lacking in creativity.

Should Aston Villa sign Weston McKennie?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Whilst John McGinn, Leander Dendoncker and Douglas Luiz are all good players in their own right, there is little drive or the ability to pick a pass from deep.

That could explain why reports have been emerging linking the Midlands giants to Juventus’ midfield Weston McKennie.

Although they are one of many teams interested in the £26m powerhouse, according to journalist Simon Phillips, to secure this deal and slot him beside Luiz, who has just signed a new long-term contract himself, could hold down Emery’s midfield for the foreseeable future.

With the steel and solidity brought by the Brazilian, outlined in his 85% pass accuracy and 1.6 tackles per game, he would pair nicely with the American international who has earned praise for his goalscoring exploits from midfield at times in his career.

Boasting a “powerful” presence – as claimed by his old manager Dominic Tedesco – his surging runs from deep and pressing energy would complement a Villa side that has attempted to push high this season but achieved little success.

Despite having the seventh-highest team sequence pressures in the league, only one has resulted in a goal. To add this proficient “pressing machine”, as dubbed by journalist Chris Smith, to the Villans’ midfield, would be a stroke of genius.

With four goal contributions already this season across Serie A and the Champions League, he has offered a solid stream of performances for a Juventus side that are seriously underperforming.

He also has nine goals at international level in just 37 games and is poised to star at Qatar in the upcoming World Cup.

That’s not to suggest that he won’t contribute defensively, as he ranks in the top 8% for blocks and averages 1.28 interceptions a game. These exploits are likely what led to Andrea Pirlo labelling him a “rock”.

McKennie is the quintessential all-around midfielder, and under an accomplished manager like Emery he could be moulded into Luiz’s perfect partner.

Article title: Aston Villa: McKennie could be perfect Luiz partner

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