Aston Villa are believed to be keen on Lille defender Sven Botman, as Steven Gerrard plots a move for a new centre-back signing.
As per The Telegraph, Villa are reportedly ‘monitoring’ the Dutchman with the view to a possible deal, with the recruitment of a new left-sided central defender seemingly high on the agenda this summer for the Midlands outfit.
There has been a suggestion that NSWE are plotting a move for Burnley’s James Tarkowski on a free transfer, although a further addition could well be needed, following reports that Gerrard could look to axe both Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa in the upcoming window.
It would seem as if the Premier League club are attempting to steal a march on top-flight rivals Newcastle United in the hunt for the 22-year-old, with Botman having come close to securing a move to St James’ Park back in January.
With the aforementioned Mings potentially set for the scrapheap, the club’s £27m-rated target could be the ideal option to slot in at left centre-back, potentially forming a mouthwatering partnership with full-back Lucas Digne, the Frenchman having moved to Villa Park from Everton in the winter.
With the former Toffees defender offering the attacking threat from his left-back berth, Botman would provide more than adequate cover in the backline, having showcased his defensive talents following another impressive campaign in Ligue 1.
In 25 league outings in the 2021/22 season, the £18k-per-week starlet – who has been dubbed “extraordinary” by his agent Francesco Miniero – averaged one tackle, one interception and 4.5 clearances per game, while also winning 65% of his total duels and keeping eight clean sheets.
His quality in possession could also be crucial in forming a dynamic combination with Digne, having enjoyed an impressive 88% pass completion rate in the French top flight. He ranks in the top 30% for attempted passes among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, demonstrating his willingness to play the ball out from the back.
The best-performing player this season under Christophe Galtier – as per Sofascore – the 6 foot 5 giant would certainly add instant quality to Gerrard’s failing backline. Villa shipped 54 league goals in the recently-concluded campaign, the 10th-worst record in the division.
Botman’s arrival would also represent another major coup for the ambitious Midlands outfit. Seeing him lining up alongside Digne in defence would be a clear statement of just how far the club – and NSWE – wishes to go, with the duo more than good enough to help take the team back towards European qualification.