Aston Villa manager Dean Smith could solve a major problem in his squad by signing Borussia Dortmund powerhouse Thomas Delaney in this summer transfer window.
While Smith has a few options in midfield from which to choose, only Marvelous Nakamba could be described as someone who’s primarily a ball-winner.
In Delaney, not only would they be getting someone who snaps into the challenges and can protect the back four, but also have the ability to play accurate passes into more advanced areas and switch the play.
As per WhoScored, he averaged two tackles per game in the Bundesliga last season (higher than any Villa midfielder), while also averaging 40.3 passes per match (only Douglas Luiz made more among Villa’s midfield).
That ability to win the ball back and kick-start things is exactly what his Dortmund teammate Marco Reus has previously heralded.
The Germany midfielder said: “Thomas is an exceptional kind of player. He’s the kind of player we’ve been missing in the past. You need a player like (Delaney) in the niggly games. He sweeps up and gets the game going again in the other direction. Thomas can be a really important player.”
Former Dortmund interim boss Edin Terzic was also full of praise for Delaney last season, saying: “Thomas Delaney always performs well, not just in the last two games. He is definitely a very important player who stabilises our defence and is always capable of destabilising our opponents. That is very important in this position. We are lucky to have a player like him in the squad.”
The £80k-a-week earning ace is exactly what Smith needs to shore up his midfield. Given his impressive knack of patrolling the back four and keeping cool, calm and collected in possession like Reus and Terzic have said, Delaney seems like a superb signing for Villa to make.