According to journalist Ashley Preece – in a Q & A for Birmingham Mail – sporting director Johan Lange is currently “exploring” potential targets ahead of a summer move, with the Hammers ace believed to be one figure of interest who is possibly up for grabs.
Asked if the Midlands outfit are in the market for a new central midfielder, Preece stated: “Yes, Villa are looking to add more quality in CM. Johan Lange exploring options. Tomas Soucek is said to be available…”.
This follows reports that the 27-year-old is of interest to Villa, along with a handful of other Premier League clubs, with the suggestion being that David Moyes could be willing to cash in on the 52-cap giant in the current transfer window.
Amid all the talk regarding a possible departure for current first-team regular Douglas Luiz – who has just a year left on his existing deal – Villa supporters will love hearing that Steven Gerrard and co are being active regarding a potential replacement, with Soucek seemingly an ideal candidate to fill the void.
Dubbed “unplayable” by Yannick Bolasie, the former Slavia Prague ace – who joined the Irons on an initial loan deal in January 2020 – has been integral to his current club’s remarkable resurgence in thr last couple of years, forging a formidable midfield partnership with Declan Rice.
While the Englishman has often stolen the limelight in that time, the 6 foot 4 colossus has undoubtedly been impactful in his own right, having chipped in with 20 goal contributions in 86 top-flight games so far for the east London outfit.
That haul includes a particularly impressive tally of ten league goals from the 2020/21 campaign as the Hammers secured Europa League football, while he provided a respectable five league goals last term from his defensive midfield berth.
A sheer menace in both boxes, the £40.5m-rated monster unsurprisingly ranks in the top 8% for touches in the attacking penalty area – and also in the top 1% for clearances made and the top 2% for aerial duels won – among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, showcasing both his attacking and defensive prowess.
A forceful and imposing presence in the centre of the park, the £47k-per-week brute would provide some much-needed steel to a Villa side which had been lacking a bona fide defensive-minded midfielder last term, with the aforementioned Luiz deployed as something of a makeshift stop-gap in the holding role.
While perhaps not the most glamorous addition, Soucek would offer a reliable and consistent asset for Gerrard’s side, with supporters set to be delighted if Villa can make another statement of intent this summer by poaching the player from a club who have been on the rise in recent years.