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Aston Villa scouting exciting winger Otavio

Aston Villa could potentially seal a late signing as Steven Gerrard looks to add one or two new faces to his squad before the transfer window closes.

What’s the word?

There were Villa scouts present to watch Porto defeat Sporting Lisbon 3-0 on Saturday and it’s highly likely they were scouting Otavio, who has been a Gerrard target for a while now.

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That’s according to A Bola (via Sport Witness) who claimed scouts were there to watch the match with a potential view to making an approach to sign him in the future.

Phenomenal Sarr alternative

With Telegraph reporter John Percy reporting that Ismaila Sarr’s move to Villa Park is now set to fall through, it could be a wise idea for Gerrard to seal a late deal for Otavio, who could be an ideal Sarr alternative.

It was reported that the Porto man has a release clause in his contract totalling €60m (£50m), which constitutes a more expensive transfer than that of Sarr, but it could be worth the extra £25m unless they can drive the price down.

Although Otavio isn’t an out-and-out direct winger like Sarr, he has played out on the flanks throughout large parts of his career, notably featuring on the right of midfield 38 times last term, while playing slightly further forward as a more offensive winger on a handful of occasions. Thus, Gerrard should have no doubts about pushing the Porto star further out wide if he needs to, especially with his goal contributions and attacking threat.

Should Villa sign Otavio?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Last season, Otavio had 12 goal contributions compared to Sarr’s seven (three goals and nine assists to five goals and two assists) while he also delivered 26 more crosses than the more natural wide man in Sarr (74 to 48) proving that he can excel in a more advanced role.

In terms of their all-round game, Otavio offers more defensively too, winning a staggering 62 tackles last season compared to a measly seven for Sarr. Quite evidently a player that works hard, he could be the ideal wide man to take English football by storm.

Portuguese journalist Alex Goncalves praised his performance for Portugal in their World Cup play-off victory against Turkey in March, lauding him as “phenomenal” and with his top flight and international experience, he would surely make an excellent addition to the Villa team.

With the pressure firmly mounting on Gerrard after a tough Premier League start this season, adding a quality midfielder who can supply both goals and assists will do his side no harm at all. It could just soften the blow of losing out on Sarr too.

Article title: Aston Villa scouting exciting winger Otavio

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