Aston Villa are interested in a deal for Olympique Lyonnais’ Moussa Dembele following the recent departure of talisman Danny Ings, and he has now been deemed a perfect fit to adopt the mantle…
With Ings completing a £15m deal with West Ham United last week, the talismanic position at Aston Villa indeed feels somewhat lacking, and while 19-year-old Jhon Duran has been signed from Chicago Fire for £18m, a more established name is desired to lead the line over the latter period of the Premier League season, with Dembele, valued at a bargain €10m (£9m), firmly in contention.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, transfer insider Dean Jones remarked that he believes the English Midlands is the likely destination for the French forward, who has fallen out of favour with his Ligue 1 outfit and is thus searching for pastures new.
Jones said: “It’s a really interesting option. He’s one of the names that we floated at the start of the window as an option for somebody when they were desperate for a striking situation to be resolved.
“I think if you’re looking for somebody to replace Ings now in that frontline, Moussa Dembele would certainly be capable of that.”
The news comes amid high transfer activity at Villa after claims emerged that the club saw a shock £45m bid for Nico Williams rejected by the player, despite the Midlands outfit matching his release clause.
Considering the recent upturn in form and performance at Villa following the dismissal of Steven Gerrard in the managerial position, the Villan hierarchy would be prudent to grant Emery his wishes on the transfer front, with the recent Premier League form an indication of the riches that might come across the coming seasons with the Spaniard at the wheel.
And with the 26-year-old Dembele now within the final six months of his contract with Lyon, a cut-price fee could be agreed to ensure Villa steer ahead of rival interest and provide a catalyst for success for the remainder of the campaign.
He may well be the perfect player to help Emery forget about the club’s failed pursuit of Williams too, with the Frenchman having scored 60 goals and provided 19 assists from 160 appearances for his current side.
The former Celtic and Fulham gem has emerged as one of the division’s most menacing offensive focal points over past seasons, but has only scored twice this term from 14 appearances, starting only six times.
Despite his recent issues in earning a regular starting berth in Laurent Blanc’s outfit, the £52k-per-week gem still ranks among the top 6% of forwards across Europe’s big five leagues for rate of non-penalty goals, and the top 12% for total shots, as per FBref, which illustrates the sharpshooting prowess that he would harness to lead the line.
Comparatively, Ings ranks only among the top 42% of positional peers for rate of non-penalty goals, which bodes well when considering the impact on proficiency in front of the net for the outfit with Dembele’s prospective inclusion.
Aston Villa will indeed require someone of the “unplayable” Dembele’s ilk – as once lauded by former teammate Leigh Griffiths – to ensure the cutting edge in front of goal is not unkeen, and while Duran has been acquired from the MLS, an established centre-forward could indeed get Villa Park rocking again, with the birth of a new centre-forward capable of hitting the net with great regularity simply a must.