Aston Villa have been handed a boost in their quest to sign Scotland’s next star boy.
That is according to a report from Birmingham Mail, who have relayed claims from Bologna sporting director Marco Di Vaio who claims that Aaron Hickey is likely to leave Serie A side Bologna this summer “if a sizeable offer is made for him.”
As per the report, the young Scotland international is priced at around £18m and it is said that “plenty of outgoings” will make for a sizeable figure that will go straight back into Gerrard’s transfer budget.
It is also said that there is competition around the 20-year-old, with the likes of Napoli and fellow Premier League rivals Arsenal and Newcastle United all keen on acquiring the starlet’s signature.
With a shared nationality, position and level of attacking intent, Hickey is perhaps the closest mimic of Liverpool’s £58.5m-rated machine in Andy Robertson.
Gerrard will be aware of the links between the two and, of course, the numbers that the young Bologna star has produced over in Italy this season.
Having found himself in Siniša Mihajlović’s starting XI 89% of the time this season, he has seized his opportunity as a more attacking left-sided operator and, in a back-three system, has shone as a left-wing back.
It’s this slight positional tweak that has seen Hickey discover his goal-scoring touch, scoring five goals in the Serie A this season. With a range of consistent and promising performances in Italy, he is once again a “golden boy nominee”.
In an attacking sense this season, his numbers in front of goal are slightly better than Robertson’s, with the youngster having more shots with 0.67 per game and more accurate shots at that with 61.9% on target per match. Though it is worth noting that his defensive numbers have suffered slightly as a result.
Either way, he is exactly what Gerrard is looking for; a young starlet with a seemingly limitless ceiling who can play a part and offer intense competition for current automatic starter, Lucas Digne.
Given Bologna’s willingness to offload the asset, Johan Lange and Villa have been handed a boost in their pursuit.