An update has emerged regarding Serie A interest in Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi.
According to The Athletic, the Netherlands international is attracting interest from the Italian top flight. The report claims that teams in Italy are looking at the attacker as a potential target, although Villa’s stance on a deal remains unknown.
However, Conor Hourihane is said to be a player who is likely to leave the club in the coming weeks. A loan move to the Championship is looking set to be his next destination following his loan at Swansea last season.
Johan Lange must avoid a big mistake with El Ghazi this summer. He cannot allow the forward to depart from Villa Park to join a Serie A club as he is an important player for Dean Smith and his exit would be a blow to the coach’s plans ahead of next season.
El Ghazi enjoyed a terrific 2020/21 campaign for Villa. The 26-year-old scored 10 times in the top flight despite only starting 17 games, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.78. Only Ollie Watkins scored more (14) for Smith last term, with Jack Grealish (six) and Bertrand Traore (seven) the only other players who managed more than three league goals over the course of the campaign.
This shows how important the Dutchman’s goals were from midfield. Villa did not have a host of consistent contributors in front of goal outside of El Ghazi and Watkins, and selling the former does not appear to be a wise decision.
During last season, former Villa defender Alan Hutton lauded El Ghazi as “unstoppable” and backed him to succeed because of his strong mentality.
The Scot told Football Insider: “I’ve played with him and played against him. In training, he can be unstoppable. In games, I’m watching him thinking, do that, take them on, go forward. You’re urging him to do it because you know he can do it.
“There’s been question marks hanging over him for a while now, he’s been getting a bit of stick from fans. But I think he showed what kind of character he is in the Wolves game when he stepped up for the penalty. That’s where it’s turned for him. He’s definitely a confidence player. He’s the type of guy that sometimes needs the arm around him, and that’s just his personality, that’s the way he is.”
This shows how highly rated the £38,000-per-week gem is by his teammates, given that Hutton trained alongside him in the Championship. Therefore, he could be a good player to keep around the dressing room alongside his ability on the pitch, which is why Lange must avoid selling him to Serie A suitors.