Aston Villa are now eyeing a swoop for Oxford United goalkeeper Jack Stevens in this summer transfer window.
Having waved goodbye to Tom Heaton earlier this summer – the 35-year-old made his return to former club Manchester United – Dean Smith’s side are light on goalkeeping options, especially with Lovre Kalinic once again heading out on loan for the season.
And, according to The Sun on Sunday (July 25, p62) via (Football League World), the Midlands club are interested in signing Stevens.
The report adds that Villa were initially keen on landing Paulo Gazzaniga, but following his move to Fulham, they have now turned their attentions towards the 23-year-old Stevens.
After completing deals for Emi Buendia and Ashley Young, Stevens’ arrival would be Villa’s third in terms of first-team squad acquisitions and could prove to be a very shrewd one.
With Emi Martinez firmly established as the club’s number one shot-stopper for next season, and the years beyond really, bringing in a number two who is comfortable in that role is paramount.
And in Stevens, they would be getting someone who has already earned rave reviews for his performances, and at just 23, still has plenty of time to grow himself.
His manager at Oxford, Karl Robinson, has waxed lyrical about his displays this calendar year, and after seeing him make a late penalty save to clinch a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Charlton, he said: “Seeing it again, it’s an even better penalty save than I first thought. Jack’s riding a perfect wave at the moment, and is part of a group that is making us a very competitive team.”
The 6 foot 2 titan would arrive at Villa Park as Martinez’s understudy and ensure that Smith has adequate cover in the goalkeeping positions ahead of the new Premier League season next month.
The Villa boss will be delighted with the news the club are quickly addressing their need for a new back-up goalkeeper this summer.
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