Aston Villa are interested in a deal to bring Kevin Joshua to Villa Park in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by All Nigerian Soccer, who claim that Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Fulham are keeping a close eye on the West Bromwich Albion centre-back ahead of the winter market.
The report goes on to state that Villa could look to once again tap up their West Midland rivals for another promising talent, having already poached the likes of Tim Iroegbunam, Finley Thorndike and Finn Azaz from the Baggies in recent months.
Birmingham Live add that the same outlet reported back in April that Everton, Leicester City and Crystal Palace were also tracking the left-footed defender, whose contract at The Hawthorns is due to expire at the end of the current campaign.
While centre-back is not particularly an area of the Aston Villa squad that is lacking depth, with Steven Gerrard having the options of Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause and Axel Tuanzebe in the position, considering the sheer amount of potential Joshua appears to possess, it would nevertheless appear highly advisable for the 41-year-old manager to pursue a deal for the 19-year-old when January comes around.
Indeed, the defender has proven to be one of the most exciting players in West Brom’s U23 side so far this season, something that was highlighted by his dominant display in a 4-1 victory over Premier League 2 leaders Arsenal on Thursday evening.
In the Premier League Cup fixture, the 6 foot 6 centre-back made four interceptions, four blocks, completed 100% of his short passes and won four of his five ariel duels – one of which resulted in the teenager getting himself on the scoresheet.
As such, it would appear that Joshua’s agent was not lying in his comments when the youngster joined the Baggies earlier this year, with Arfan Rehman stating of his client: “Standing 6ft6 tall, the left-footed centre back is aggressive, quick, and excellent on the ball. Watch this space.”
These are traits that draw obvious comparisons between the Irish-Nigerian gem and Tyrone Mings, with the England international also being left-footed, 6 foot 5 tall, boasting impressive recovery pace and being more than adept at bringing the ball out from the back.
So, while Joshua may not be ready for Premier League football just yet, it is still abundantly clear that the defender is a player who boasts the potential to one day flourish into a top-flight level centre-back.
And, with Axel Tuanzebe more than likely returning to Manchester United upon the completion of his season-long loan at Villa Park next summer, Gerrard could well be in need of a fourth centre-back in his first-team squad, with Joshua very much looking to be a fantastic candidate to fill this slot.