According to John Percy of The Telegraph, the Villans are closing in on the signing of Real Betis full-back Alex Moreno to be their first recruit of the month.
The reporter also adds that Unai Emery is not settling for one new addition to his squad at Villa Park as he is also keen on bringing a winger in.
Percy Tweeted: “#avfc to continue talks with Real Betis over £12m deal for left-back Alex Moreno. Getting closer. Unai Emery also targeting a new winger as a priority this month.”
Bringing in Moreno from Betis before the end of the month would be a dream start to Emery’s first window in charge of the Villans for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the left-back is Spanish and would be able to strike up an instant connection with the head coach without having to worry about a language barrier, whilst the defender coming in from La Liga also means that the Villa boss already knows him well from his time at Villarreal.
At the age of 29, Moreno is also an established professional who has racked up 145 appearances in the top-flight of Spanish football, along with 148 in the second tier. This means that Villa are not taking a risk on a young, up-and-coming, prospect and are getting someone who, in theory, can hit the ground running and make an instant impact.
The defender could also be a dream fit for the manager’s style of play. Emery is a manager who likes to utilise counter-attacking with pace after defending deep to protect his own goal and Moreno ranks in the 78th percentile or higher in dribbles completed, touches in the opposition’s box and progressive passes received per 90 amongst his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days.
These statistics indicate that he is good at bursting past players down the left flank and great at getting into advanced positions to be passed to by teammates, which would suit a counter-attacking style where the full-back is bombing on to join the attack.
Therefore, the signing of Moreno would be a dream addition for Emery’s first new arrival due to the instant impact that he could have heading into the second half of the campaign.