Reports in the last few weeks or so have seen Aston Villa named as one of the clubs who are keeping an eye on developments regarding RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, with the Austrian ace having just a year remaining on his existing deal.
Despite the Bundesliga side’s desire to keep the versatile gem, that contract situation has sparked uncertainty over his future, with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich one of the frontrunners in the battle to secure his services this summer.
The serial-winning outfit are believed to have proposed a deal for a fee in the region of €20m (£17m), although time is still on Villa’s side to try and steal a march on Julian Nagelsmann and co, with NSWE having already proven their financial muscle with three marquee arrivals already this summer.
One of those acquisitions is Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, although despite having secured the services of the 22-year-old, it would seem as if manager Steven Gerrard is keen to bolster his midfield ranks even further.
Familiar Premier League names such as Kalvin Phillips and Yves Bissouma have been bounded about, although in Laimer the Midlands outfit could well find a more suitable and exciting fit, even if it may appear something of a left-field option to some.
Despite being comfortable on the right flank or in a defensive midfield role, the 20-cap workhorse is most renowned for his all-action displays in a central midfield berth, with his style of play having even drawn comparisons to a certain N’Golo Kante.
That will no doubt pique the interest of those at Villa Park, with the diminutive Frenchman one of the “most outstanding midfielders ever seen”, according to pundit Joe Cole, having won a plethora of major honours at both club and international level over the last half a decade or so.
At current side Chelsea in the most recent campaign, the 31-year-old was again a real force, despite injury, averaging 2.3 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game, while also netting two goals and registering four assists in 26 Premier League outings.
Equally, in comparison to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, he also remains among the elite, ranking in the top 6% for progressive carries and the top 7% for dribbles completed, illustrating his ability to drive the Blues up the pitch.
Statistically, Laimer is not too far off the World Cup winner, ranking in the top 12% and the top 14% for those two metrics, respectively, while he also ranks in the top 1% for pressures made – with Kante in just the top 39% for the same metric.
In the 2021/22 season, in particular, the 25-year-old also netted three goals and provided three assists in 31 league games, while averaging 2.2 tackles and 2.9 interceptions per game – a superior record to that of the man above.
Having his own version of Kante in tow would make life a lot easier for Gerrard next term, with the “elite presser” – as he has been dubbed by Premier League Panel – seemingly a player that would make an instant impact in a Villa shirt.
The Liverpool legend may also have a trump card to play in the battle for the Salzburg-born star’s signature, as the £23.4m-rated monster previously admitted that he had idolised the Englishman during his youth.
Recent addition Kamara has already hinted at the Villa boss’ pulling power, with Gerrard potentially set to be able to welcome in another midfield diamond in Laimer – a man who could prove to be his very own Kante.