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Aston Villa: Paul Brown delivers Nathan Collins verdict

Aston Villa could well be best placed to land highly-rated Burnley defender Nathan Collins, according to journalist Paul Brown.

What’s the word?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider stated that the Midlands outfit could well be in pole position to land the 21-year-old, amid reports that they are one of a handful of Premier League sides keen to prise him from Turf Moor.

Should Gerrard sign Nathan Collins?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Brown stated: “I think he’s definitely a good option for teams with that profile, and I think that Villa will probably have the jump on them in terms of, if they wanted to get him, I think that they would have the best chance of doing so.

“Again, because of Steven Gerrard, but also just because of where the club are heading. So yeah, a really good player that is on the market.”

Recent reports have suggested that the Lancashire side could demand as much as £25m for the centre-back, despite having only bought him for £12m from Stoke City a year ago.

Imagine him and Carlos

Newly-appointed Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has been dealt something of a difficult hand with both Ben Mee and James Tarkowski on their way this summer, while the club’s recent relegation has left them vulnerable to losing additional prized assets, such as Collins, with circling sharks smelling blood at the financially struggling outfit.

As Brown alluded to, Villa could be well placed to capitalise on that uncertainty and land the Republic of Ireland international, with the youngster having caught the eye in his debut, top-flight campaign last term.

In 19 league outings, the £9m-rated gem averaged an impressive 4.3 clearances, 1.9 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game, keeping five clean sheets and netting twice to ensure a positive season on a personal note, despite the collective failure.

Such form also sees him compare favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, as ranks in the top 2% for blocks made and the top 3% for aerial duels won, while his presence as an attacking threat is also obvious as he ranks in the top 1% for touches in the attacking penalty area.

The £5.9k-per-week brute was also the subject of wider acclaim while on international duty in recent weeks, as he netted a remarkable, solo goal in the 1-1 draw with Ukraine, sparking praise from Villa legend and compatriot Paul McGrath, who dubbed him a “special player”.

That endorsement from “one of the all-time greats”- in the words of Jack Charlton – will no doubt pique the interest of those at Villa Park, with young Collins potentially the man to slot in alongside recent signing Diego Carlos, to form what is a much-needed, settled defensive pairing.

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Last term saw manager Steven Gerrard fail to settle on a regular centre-back partnership, with the underwhelming form of both Tyron Mings and Ezri Konsa sparking suggestions that they could be moved on this summer.

In their place, a powerful defensive axis of Collins and Carlos could well thrive, with the latter man having been praised for his “no-nonsense” approach by pundit Kevin Campbell.

With the Villans having shipped 54 top-flight goals in the 2021-22 campaign – the tenth-worst record in the division – a total revamp could well be needed to spark a drastic improvement next term, with the two men mentioned above undoubtedly a fearsome prospect for any forward.

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Article title: Aston Villa: Paul Brown delivers Nathan Collins verdict

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