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Aston Villa challenging Benfica to land Jhon Duran in January

An update has emerged on Aston Villa and their pursuit of MLS centre-forward Jhon Duran ahead of the January transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to Calciomercato journalist Raffaele Amato, NSWE are providing the biggest challenge to Benfica in the race to land the £18m-rated striker’s signature.

Should Villa sign Jhon Duran?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Adding to his article from earlier this month, in which he claimed the Liga Portugal outfit made an offer of €15m to sign the forward, the reporter tweeted:

“Liverpool are also making concrete moves for #Duran, but the current offer is lower than Benfica’s. The biggest pitfall for the Portuguese is represented by Aston Villa. Chicago are aiming to collect 20 million euros.”

Imagine him and Emiliano Buendia

Unai Emery must secure a swoop to sign the Colombian centre-forward in the coming weeks as he could form a devastating link-up with current Villans star Emi Buendia.

Throughout his club career, the Argentine playmaker has created 1.9 chances per game on average and provided 42 assists – including a whopping 28 assists in two Championship campaigns for Norwich.

In the 2021/22 Premier League season, the 26-year-old scored four goals and assisted six, whilst creating eight ‘big chances’ for his teammates in the top-flight and averaging a Sofascore rating of 6.95.

This came after he plundered a stunning 15 goals and 16 assists, creating 3.1 chances per match, in 39 appearances for the Canaries in the second tier.

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These statistics show that Buendia has the potential to be a regular provider for Villa if Emery can get him back to playing his best football, which means that he could be the perfect foil for Duran to work with at the top end of the pitch.

The Chicago Fire frontman has fired in eight goals, whilst also managing three assists, in 14 MLS starts this season and produced nine strikes in 46 appearances for Envigado FC in his home country prior to making the move to America.

Duran, who only turned 19 earlier this month, was once hailed as a “complete forward” who offers an “aerial threat” and “is fast, powerful & confident with the ball at his feet” by football talent scout Jacek Kulig, which provides an insight into the type of forward he is.

The youngster is now showcasing his potential as a goalscorer in the MLS and Villa could now take a gamble on the dynamo in the hope that he is able to continue his development in the Premier League.

Playing him alongside a creative magician like Buendia, who has proven throughout his career that he can be a striker’s best friend, could give him plenty of opportunities in front of goal to show what he is made of in England.