The Athletic’s Aston Villa correspondent Gregg Evans has provided an update on Villa’s pursuit of highly-rated 19-year-old Aaron Hickey.
According to Evans, the West Midlands club are unlikely to sign the Bologna left-back this window, but will still look to sign a full-back and keep tabs on the Scotsman.
Taking to Twitter, he issued the following disappointing eight-word update: “Aaron Hickey to AVFC is unlikely this month.”
A product of Celtic’s youth system, Hickey joined Hearts in August 2019 and a year later swapped Scotland for Italy as the then-18-year-old joined Serie A outfit Bologna.
Having broken through last season, it’s this campaign where the Scotsman has really started to shine, playing all but one of the Italians’ 20 Serie A games as he missed their first game of 2022 against Inter with a virus.
However, it’s the goals tally and versatility that has been particularly impressive, scoring four league goals whilst playing both at left-back and (more frequently) left-midfield.
The Villans have been linked with the left-back for the majority of the window, however, this update from Evans has ultimately put an end to Villa fans’ hopes of their club landing the youngster this month.
They will just have to hope that Steven Gerrard goes back in for the Bologna player in the summer.
Aston Villa are in desperate need of more options in the full-back department with Matt Targett, Ashley Young and Matty Cash the only senior full-backs in Gerrard’s squad.
Moreover, Young has been deployed in a variety of positions this season, meaning that an injury to either Targett or Cash would prove a major issue for Villa.
The addition of Hickey may not have been the major, big name signing that the West Midlands outfit are hoping to sign on a regular basis, such as Philippe Coutinho who joined on loan this week, however, he would’ve filled a gaping hole.
As well as that, the Scotsman would’ve provided a long-term option and clearly possesses plenty of potential, meaning that if a deal can still be struck in 2022, the Villans may find themselves coming away with a bargain.
For now, however, their fans will understandably be gutted that their pursuit of Hickey is likely to drag on further into the year.
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