Aston Villa must make a ruthless call on Anwar El Ghazi this summer amid a recent transfer update on his future.
When asked about reports linking the Dutchman with an exit from Villa Park this summer, The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece replied: “He’s got less than two years left on his deal and there’s been no talk whatsoever about Villa wanting to extend it which tells you everything.
“It’s a big season for AEG who *could* be sold for a small profit. I am, though, expecting him to stay knowing Trezeguet’s out long term. AEG scored 10 last season; his Villa career is in the balance going into this one…”
And now, according to Football Insider, Villa are now planning to sell the winger, and could secure a fee of up to £17m for him.
The report adds that Dean Smith accepts his squad is too full at the moment, and is prepared to let El Ghazi leave on a permanent basis.
A lack of consistency is something that has affected El Ghazi badly in his time at Villa Park – last season score the bulk of his 10 Premier League goals in just two purple patches over the course of the campaign – and it’s something Smith will no doubt be wary about.
And, speaking back in September, Villa journalist Dan Bardell, said: “There’s something wrong with him. I think his head has just dropped completely. I think (his) confidence is absolutely on the floor – that never helps – but if people like (Henri) Lansbury and El Ghazi, they’re not taking games like this by the scruff of the neck, then they’re not going to be playing in the Premier League either.”
The £40k-a-week earning ace now has incredibly stiff competition for a place out wide, and it’s difficult to see how he would fit into the strongest starting eleven at Villa with these new signings at the club.
The likes of Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey have arrived to further strengthen the wide areas, while you already have Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet still waiting in the wings too – although the latter is currently injured at the moment.
This summer represents the perfect chance for the Midlands club to cash in and take advantage of AS Roma’s interest in him. It would be a ruthless call to sell someone who was Villa’s second top scorer last season, but it’s one that makes sense given the kind of upwards direction the club are now heading in with their impressive recruitment.