Aston Villa are now eyeing a move for Todd Cantwell, Emi Buendia’s former teammate at Norwich City, this summer.
Reports from The Telegraph last summer suggested that Dean Smith’s side were weighing up a potential move for the Canaries midfielder, but a deal failed to materialise before the end of the window.
The same outlet has now claimed that Villa are continuing to monitor Cantwell ahead of a possible move, with the Midlands club having already sealed a deal for Buendia earlier this summer.
Given how they both played together for a few years at Carrow Road, the prospect of seeing Cantwell line up alongside Buendia at Villa is a tantalising one, especially with the success they enjoyed – they helped Norwich to two promotions to the Premier League.
Described as someone with a “God-given” talent by his former youth team coach Gary Cockaday, the 23-year-old was one of the shining lights of a Norwich side which ultimately couldn’t avoid relegation from the Premier League in the 2019/20 campaign, scoring six goals and providing two assists in the division.
Last season saw him help lead the charge back to the top flight, bagging six goals and setting up another seven in the Championship, with the Canaries making their return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Former Norwich striker Dean Ashton raved about him, saying: “When I first saw him I said to Darren Huckerby, ‘how is that lad not training with the first-team?’. He was incredible. The way he was drifting past players. His speed of thought and his awareness. He’s just a wonderful player.”
Just like Jack Grealish, the 1.77m (5 foot 10) Cantwell has that ability to glide past players with his close control and skill, and it’s no surprise that his average of 1.6 dribbles per game in the Championship last season ranked him joint-top for the Canaries alongside Buendia.
With the 23-year-old labelled an “exceptional” talent by Chris Sutton, Cantwell and Buendia could rekindle their partnership at Villa Park this summer.