According to reports, Aston Villa are interested in signing Rangers defender Filip Helander in this upcoming summer transfer window.
Swedish publication Sportbladet claim that Dean Smith’s side and fellow Premier League outfit Leicester are both said to be keen admirers of the 27-year-old ahead of a potential summer move.
The report added that the Gers are already looking at potential replacements for Helander, with Kenya international Joseph Okumu thought to be in their sights.
With reports in recent months linking Bjorn Engels with an exit from Villa Park, there’s no questioning that Smith could do with some extra depth in the centre-back department.
In the 1.92m (6 foot 4) Helander, the Villa boss could find someone who is ready to run through brick walls for him and the team.
The defender’s form for Rangers has since earned him a recall to the Swedish national team, whose manager Janne Andersson was full of praise for him earlier this season, saying: “He’s a reliable defender with a great sense of where to place himself on the pitch. Filip’s also a very tough player who won’t bow down.”
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is also a firm admirer of the centre-back’s qualities, adding: “It is the reason why we kept him in the team and because he is one that will stand up. Positionally he is outstanding, you can see that he has been coached in Italy and been around Italian coaches. He gets blocks in, important blocks, and positionally he is always spot on.”
It’s no surprise that the Gers boss has also dubbed Helander as a “leader” given his willingness to put the team first on the pitch, and that level of selflessness should surely go down well at Villa Park.
If Villa are looking for a defender to compete with the likes of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, then they should look no further than Helander.