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Aston Villa: Gerrard should replace Carlos with Caleta-Car

Aston Villa have had a mixed start to their Premier League season. An opening day defeat to new boys Bournemouth was swiftly followed by an excellent 2-1 win against Frank Lampard’s Everton in a battle of the former England maestros.

Gerrard may have had a free reign during last term, where he arrived from Rangers midway through the season, but following an impressive summer transfer window, the Villa faithful won’t take kindly to poor performances.

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The victory against Everton could well be the catalyst to kickstart their season, despite the side suffering an injury that may have severe ramifications.

Carlos replacement

Villa’s £26m summer signing Diego Carlos was taken off injured against the Toffees, with Gerrard admitting that he was “extremely worried” about the situation.

The Brazil international has ruptured his achilles tendon and now required surgery as he begins a significant period of rehabilitation and time on the sidelines.

As a result, it may prompt the manager to delve back into the transfer market and hunt for a replacement. One target who Gerrard should take another look at is Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car, who Villa were linked with at the start of the summer.

Indeed, he could now be available at a bargain price too, with a fresh update regarding the player’s price tag last week suggesting Marseille are ‘inviting’ the defender to leave and have asked for €10m (£8.5m) in order to sell the defender.

An impressive season last year at the French club earned him “quality” praise from teammate Alvaro and it’s clear to see why.

Caleta-Car showed his quality by winning 1.3 aerial duels per match, making 0.8 tackles, and only being dribbled past on average of 0.1 times per game.

These stats prove that not only is the 25-year-old excellent in the air, but he also has the strength to prevent attackers from dribbling past him and these qualities will be what Gerrard is looking for in the absence of Carlos.

Still only 25 years old, there is significant potential for the player to keep developing and a move to the Premier League could work wonders for him.

Should Gerrard sign Caletta-Carr?





Not only an astute defender, the Croatian possesses the ability to bring play out from the defence, an important facet of the game in the modern era. Compared to positional peers in the top five leagues, the Croatian ranks in the top 7% for progressive carries (5.22 per 90) and in the top 3% for passes attempted (79.44).

For the aforementioned price of £8.5m, Gerrard might not find anyone of this quality for a bargain fee and he could be the perfect Carlos replacement with the player seemingly now on the market.