Aston Villa will undoubtedly be watching Mehdi Taremi’s performances for Iran through a veritably bitter lens after missing out on the prolific forward a few years ago.
Indeed, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has seen several stars rise to the forefront of footballing conversation thus far, with Iran talisman Taremi succeeding in netting two goals and serving one assist across tough fixtures against Wales and England.
And the FC Porto striker has the chance to continue his dynamic performance on the biggest stage with the forthcoming decider against USA, with victory cementing a place in the first knockout phase of the competition.
Notably, the 30-year-old created a tournament-best eight chances against Wales last Friday as the Asian outfit snatched a stunning late victory over their dismayed opposition.
The Villans will indeed rue the missed opportunity to bring the forward to the Midlands of England, with Sky Sports confirming that the club held concrete interest in the player in 2020 when they were under the management of Dean Smith.
For Porto this season, the “ridiculous” – as lauded by Rio Ferdinand – maestro has 13 goals and eight assists in just 19 outings, including a stunning five goals in as many matches during the Champions League group phase.
Any strike in club football’s most coveted competition is worth treasuring, but none more so than a remarkably audacious overhead effort against Chelsea in last season’s Champions League quarter-final stage, which consequently won the UEFA Goal of the Season.
In Qatar, the attacking threat has provided a rounded, polished presence, and without him Iran wouldn’t have performed as they did against the Welsh.
While the forward is now 30 years old, he clearly has enough gas left in the tank to be a menace for even the sturdiest of defences for years to come, and if the Villans were to revise a deal in the near future he could certainly offer a different dimension to their attack, possibly even adopting the role as their definitive focal point.
Bearing fruit domestically, continentally, and on the international stage, Taremi is the real deal. Villa should lament the missed opportunity. Indeed, his versatile, multi-faceted approach play would be a fine addition to their team, and he would fit right into the system, bringing goals, assists and knitting the forward flow together without seam.