Aston Villa should consider sanctioning the sale of Anwar El Ghazi in the January transfer window.
That’s according to Ex-Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, who, in a recent interview with Football Insider, called for Aston Villa director of football Johan Lange to cash in on the 26-year-old this winter, following recent reports that Villa would be willing to accept an £18m offer for the winger amid interest from AS Roma.
Speaking about the future of El Ghazi, Kenny said: “He’s not been in their plans for a while now, so I don’t think this would be a bad move at all. If it frees money and wages up to maybe bring someone in January in, get it done.
“They’ve got a lot of really good attacking players now. Unfortunately, that means that they are going to have to have a bit of a clearout. If he is interested in that move and is ready to move to Italy, then it makes sense for both parties to go for it.”
After enjoying an impressive debut campaign at Villa Park on a season-long loan deal from LOSC Lille back in 2018/19 – scoring five goals and registering six assists over 31 Championship appearances – a move which Villa would spend £8.1m to make permanent in the summer of 2019, the future appeared to be bright for El Ghazi under the guidance of Dean Smith.
Indeed, after another decent season in 2019/20, with the £11.7m-rated man scoring four goals, providing four assists and creating for big chances over 34 Premier League appearances, the Netherlands international went on to score a highly impressive ten goals over just 28 top-flight fixtures last term – finishing as the club’s second-highest goalscorer in the league.
However, following the £100m sale of Jack Grealish this summer, Lange brought in a wealth of new attacking talent to Villa Park, landing the signings of players such as Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings.
As a result, the £38k-per-week El Ghazi has fallen down Smith’s pecking order, making just four Premier League appearances so far this season, as well as averaging a disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.63.
As such, while it is undeniable that the man who The Villa View Podcast dubbed an “inconsistent” player has been a useful part of Smith’s squad over the years, considering his rather hefty weekly wage, the club should not allow the 26-year-old to simply sit on the bench for the remainder of the season.
That leads us to agree with Kenny’s claim that Lange should move the winger on in January – with it beginning to appear as if El Ghazi is somewhat stealing a living at present.