Following the appointment of Steven Gerrard as Dean Smith’s replacement at Aston Villa, it was revealed that the owners at Villa Park would give financial backing to the 41-year-old during the January transfer window.
The first example of this could be seen in their recent loan deal for Barcelona and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.
Looking ahead to the rest of the window, the Midlands club have plenty of time left to complete any deals that they think will improve Gerrard’s squad and enable them to end their season on a high.
However, one potential target who the Villans should definitely avoid this month is Norwich City’s Todd Cantwell.
With Villa having been linked with a potential £40m move for the midfielder last summer, The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently claimed that the Canaries would be willing to sell the 23-year-old for a reduced fee of £15m or more.
Despite this substantial drop in price, the Midlanders should still avoid making a move to sign him this month.
From a Villa point of view, even before the arrival of Coutinho, they have a significant number of midfield and attacking players in their squad, including youngsters Jacob Ramsey, Carney Chukwuemeka and Cameron Archer, who could end up being overlooked if Cantwell were to join.
In terms of what the 23-year-old – who is currently valued at £18m by Transfermarkt – could offer to Villa, he has not scored a goal or provided an assist in eight Premier League appearances so far this season. That suggests that the Englishman may not have the quality to get into the Villa team in the first place.
In addition to Cantwell’s lack of goal contributions in the league this season, his performances haven’t been much to shout about either. WhoScored give him an overall rating of 6.23/10, which would rank him among Villa’s lowest-rated players this season.
Having been accused of “getting above his station” by pundit Chris Sutton after walking down the tunnel at Carrow Road when he was substituted in Norwich’s game against Villa last month, the 23-year-old may not necessarily have the attitude that Gerrard would want in his squad either.
Overall, Villa must avoid a potential transfer howler and forget about securing a deal for Cantwell this month despite the apparent decrease in Norwich’s asking price.