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Aston Villa: Gerard Deulofeu could be a Leon Bailey upgrade

The January transfer window is now in full swing with Aston Villa having already completed their first signing of the month earlier this week by bringing in Alex Moreno from Real Betis.

Unai Emery is in charge of his first window since arriving at Villa Park to take over from Steven Gerrard in the dugout and he made the Spanish left-back his first addition to the squad on a permanent basis from the La Liga outfit.

However, the ex-Villarreal boss may not be done there and further signings could be made before the end of the month as it has been reported that the manager wants to add a wide player to the ranks.

Journalist Ryan Taylor recently told GIVEMESPORT that Villa have an interest in Udinese winger Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard could be exactly what Emery is looking for in the market.

The ex-Watford and Everton attacker is a forward with Premier League experience who has proven that he can make a big impact at the top end of the pitch.

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Whereas, Villa currently have Leon Bailey as one of their wide options and the Jamaica international has, unfortunately, struggled since moving to England.

The winger has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.69 across 17 appearances in the Premier League this season as he has chipped in with four goals and two assists, whilst creating 0.8 chances per match – as per Sofascore.

This comes after he managed a score of 6.75 and contributed with one goal and two assists in 18 outings in the English top flight during the 2021/22 campaign.

Deulofeu, who was once hailed as “unstoppable” by reporter Anthony Lopopolo, has not had the same struggles in the Serie A with Udinese as he has caught the eye with some impressive returns over the last 18 months.

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David Ginola at Aston Villa

First up, who did Aston Villa sign David Ginola from in 2000?

Since the start of last season, the 28-year-old has racked up 15 goals and 11 assists in 49 league appearances, whilst averaging a Sofascore rating of at least 7.11 and creating at least 2.4 chances per game on average – as per Sofascore.

The £22k-per-week magician ranks in the top percentile in both progressive passes and shot-creating actions per 90 minutes amongst his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days. Whereas, Bailey disappointingly ranks in the worst 6% for progressive passes and the worst 9% for shot-creating actions.

These statistics indicate that Deulofeu, who has already played 127 Premier League matches in his career, could be a huge upgrade on the current Villa winger if Emery is able to get a deal over the line for the flanker.

Their respective form over the last year or so suggests that the Spaniard would offer far more in the final third, in terms of both scoring and assisting goals, and produce higher-quality performances on a regular basis.