The January transfer window is around halfway through completion and Aston Villa have had a relatively quiet month in the market as it stands.
Unai Emery arrived to take over from Steven Gerrard earlier this season and this month is his first chance to add his own players to the squad but he has only made one signing thus far.
Left-back Alex Moreno arrived on a permanent deal from La Liga outfit Real Betis to bolster the Spaniard’s options at the back and the gem made his debut in the 2-1 win over Leeds United in the Premier League last Friday.
However, the defender may not be the last arrival at Villa Park before the end of the window as the club have been linked with additions in other areas of the pitch.
One player who has recently been touted with a potential move to reunite with Emery is Villarreal central midfielder Dani Parejo, with the club reportedly eyeing up a move for the veteran as an alternative option to Mikel Merino.
Johan Lange could now repeat the masterclass he played by signing Ashley Young on a free transfer from Inter at the start of the 2021/22 campaign by bringing in Parejo.
Young, who has been capped 39 times by England, joined at the age of 35 but has been able to establish himself as a key player for the club in the Premier League – making 39 appearances in the top flight in the last 18 months.
Only Douglas Luiz (7.00) has averaged a higher Sofascore rating than the full-back (6.96) within the Villa squad in the division this season and this indicates that the 37-year-old is one of Emery’s top performers, in spite of his age.
Parejo, 33, could come in as an experienced option in the middle of the park and have a similar impact on the team as he has been in fine form in La Liga this season.
The £185k-per-week gem – who is compared to Toni Kroos, Jordan Henderson, and Mateo Kovacic by FBref – has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.38 in 17 outings in the Spanish top-flight for Villarreal – creating six ‘big chances’ and making 2.4 tackles and interceptions per game for his side.
Journalist Josh Bunting once claimed that the Spaniard “oozes class” and the veteran’s statistics in LaLiga this term back that up, whilst the gem has also averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.14 or higher in the division since the 2015/16 campaign.
This shows that Parejo has been consistently delivering brilliant displays in midfield in a major European league for a number of years, which is why he could be Young 2.0 for Villa.
Emery worked with him at Villarreal and this could also allow him to hit the ground running in England as he already knows how the manager wants to play – increasing the chance of him replicating his form in Spain in the Premier League and instantly making himself a key player for the club, just as Young has since his move to the club.