Aston Villa could get their new Gareth Barry in the form of PSG midfielder Rafinha.
Having already clinched the signings of Emi Buendia and Ashley Young, Dean Smith’s side have enjoyed a decent start to the transfer window, and appear to have their eye on their next midfield signing.
According to reports in Spain,, PSG are ready to let Rafinha leave this summer in order to raise some funds for their own signings, and Villa could come in for the Brazilian.
Left-footed, composed on the ball, and aggressive in trying to winning it back, while Rafinha may be thought of as a typical Barcelona academy product who’s invested in a tiki-taka style of play, the Brazilian has a much-more all-round, combative presence that has a lot of similarities to how Barry liked to play.
The former England international spent 11 years in the Aston Villa senior side, playing 433 games for them, before making the switch to Manchester City, where he won the Premier League title.
The City website described him as: “A reliable, composed and tactically astute midfielder with a knack for sniffing out danger, his understated style of play made him one of the unsung heroes of that title-winning side.”
That reliability and composure is exactly what Rafinha would bring to the table at Villa.
Talking about the 27-year-old, former Barca defender Andreu Fontas once said: “Rafinha is a great player. Physically, he is a beast and, technically, he is superb.”
As per Whoscored, the midfielder boasted an impressive 90.9% pass accuracy in Ligue 1 last season (considerably better than any Villa player with more than one start), while he also averaged 2.3 tackles per match as well (only Matty Cash fared better with 2.5).
And, speaking after his performance for PSG last year, now Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, said: “Rafinha showed in this match that he was courageous. He showed that he knows how to take responsibility and he looked for attacking solutions. He had a good match.”
The £13.5m-rated play-maker could bring that same fearlessness and intensity both on and off the ball to Villa Park should Smith land his man this summer.