Aston Villa are eyeing up a move for Norwich star Todd Cantwell as a potential replacement for Jack Grealish 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.
Now, The Daily Mail claim that with Villa waiting for Manchester City to come in with an offer for Grealish, the club are already assessing potential replacements.
The report reveals that Cantwell – supposedly valued at £30m by Daniel Farke’s side – is a target for Villa and that Norwich are “braced for interest”.
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 that ultimately couldn’t avoid relegation from the Premier League last season, scoring six goals and providing two assists in the competition.
This campaign has seen him help lead the charge back to the top-flight, bagging six goals and setting up another five in the Championship, with the Canaries now having already clinched promotion.
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 Grealish, Cantwell has got that ability to just glide past players with his close control and skill, and it’s no surprise that his average of 1.5 dribbles per game in the Championship this season ranks him only behind Emi Buendia for Norwich.
If Smith is looking for someone to even get close to replicating some of the technical ability of Grealish, then the 23-year-old Cantwell is surely the man to go for.