Aston Villa must seize their perfect chance to sell Bjorn Engels amid reported transfer interest from Royal Antwerp.
The £55,000-a-week centre-back has been a complete outcast at Villa Park this season, barely featuring for Dean Smith’s side in the Premier League – in fact, he’s yet to make a single competitive appearance in any competition in 2020/21.
His time at the club could soon be over, with Belgian publication Voetbalkrant saying (via Sport Witness) that Antwerp are eyeing a summer move for the 26-year-old as they look to bring him back to his native Belgium.
The report added that a deal for Engels to leave is “inevitable”, and that Antwerp are at the front of the line for a deal. It was even suggested that Villa would be prepared to sell him for very little just to get him off their books.
It comes as no surprise, then, that former Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has claimed that Engels’ career at the club is over, insisting that he just doesn’t have the qualities needed to succeed in the Premier League.
The 34-year-old said earlier this year: “It’s time for him to move on. The problem with the Premier League now is you have to have pace in defence. Unless you’re an unbelievable defender and you can read the game unbelievably you need to have the pace at the back.
“That’s what Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause allow you. If they make a mistake they’ve got the pace to make up for it. If they’re left one-on-one they’ve got the pace to stop the attacker.
“The problem with Engels is that if he’s left one-on-one he hasn’t got that pace so he’s going to get found out a bit. That’s what it is, it’s one of those things.”
With Antwerp now showing interest in taking him off Villa’s hands this summer, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens will surely be buzzing that one of the club’s highest earners could well be off their books way before his contract comes to an end in the Midlands.
Given that he’s yet to play at all this season for Smith, letting him go for whatever fee is presented just seems like the perfect eventuality for all parties concerned.