Aston Villa are eyeing a move for Stoke City star Harry Souttar in the January transfer window, and Alan Hutton has given his seal of approval behind a move.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Dean Smith’s side have got their eye on a new year swoop for the centre-back, and former Villa man Hutton has insisted Souttar would be a great signing for them.
He said: “I think when you look at the boys who are there, they’re all good in the air. I’ve worked with them, I know they can be physical but they like playing with the ball at their feet as well.
“I think it’s very good to have those different styles of footballers within your armoury. It gives you the option if you want. If somebody’s injured, you want to play four at the back, three at the back or something may happen, you’ve got room to manoeuvre. I think that was Dean Smith’s plan moving forward. The starting XI was very good but they needed to bolster the squad.
“I think that’s the situation that they’re in at the moment. He obviously ticks all the boxes. He’s very physical, he’s there to win the ball and it’s good to have someone like that in your backline.”
His manager at Stoke, Michael O’Neill, is clearly a big fan of the kind of modern, ball-playing centre-back that Souttar is, saying: “He’s a player blessed with great natural attributes. Obviously his height but also he’s got good game intelligence and he’s a great user of the ball as well. That’s something which I think will set him apart from the other defenders in this league.”
And, when you compare his physical attributes (he’s an inch taller than Mings at a towering 6 foot 6), as well as his key defensive stats to the Villa man, they favour well.
As per Whoscored, he averages a whopping six times the amount of tackles per game as Mings, while he also boasts more interceptions per match in the Championship too. Not only that, but Souttar also makes close to eighty passes per game on average for Stoke (29 more than Mings), and at a far better accuracy too.
The Stoke beast could bring some added physicality to Villa’s back-line and give Smith some extra depth in that centre-back role. His height, reading of the game and ability to play out from the back has got real shades of Mings.