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Aston Villa could land another Carlos in Denayer

Aston Villa have started this season off poorly in terms of what Steven Gerrard was initially hoping for before the campaign kicked off.

With just one win from three matches in the Premier League, a drastic upturn in fortunes is required otherwise the pressure will quickly descend upon him.

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The 42-year-old has added some quality during the summer transfer window, signing Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and making Philippe Coutinho’s move permanent and they all add that extra bit of class to the Villa side.

Gerrard will have to make do without Carlos for a large chunk of the season, however, with the Brazilian suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in the match against Everton, and his thoughts now turn to a replacement.

There is one defender that has been linked who could be a like-for-like alternative to the former Sevilla centre back and that is Jason Denayer.

The 27-year-old is currently a free agent following his release from Ligue 1 side Lyon, where he enjoyed the most fruitful spell of his career, racking up 139 appearances in a four-year spell.

He joined the French side for €10m (£8.5m) in 2018 but a recent dispute over his contract now means he is available for nothing, something that might give Gerrard some serious food for thought.

With the club seeking a replacement for the injured Carlos, the 35-capped Belgian could fit the bill perfectly. FB Ref’s similar player model has ranked the defender as the seventh most comparable player to the injured Brazilian.

In terms of passing, both players had an excellent pass completion percentage last season as Denayer (94.2%) and Carlos (88.6%) demonstrated their ability to move the ball effectively from the defence in order to start attacks.

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The 27-year-old Belgium international appears to be the more mature one out of the two, receiving only two cautions last season, with Carlos being cautioned eight times plus one sending off, although he did play 25 more games.

Both players were similarly strong in the tackle, however, with the former winning 0.54 per 90 minutes compared to the latter’s 0.50. They also apply successful pressures at a comparable rate, with Denayer amassing a success percentage of 32.1 to Carlos’ 31.3.

When joining Lyon, he was described as “powerful” by Florian Maurice, Lyon’s recruitment chief at the time, and if he showcases the ability he did in France upon potentially signing for Villa, Gerrard will certainly have an excellent Carlos replacement on his hands.

Article title: Aston Villa could land another Carlos in Denayer

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