Having secured a loan deal for the experienced Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, it seems as though Aston Villa could be changing their outlook when it comes to signing new players during the current transfer window, with a young talent reportedly on their radar.
According to a recent report from French media outlet La Provence (via Sport Witness) in France, Villa are one of the Premier League clubs – alongside Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and West Ham United – who are apparently interested in signing Marseille striker Bamba Dieng.
Since making his senior debut for the club back in February last year, the 21-year-old has clocked up 26 appearances for Marseille across all competitions. He has scored five goals and provided one assist along the way, showing that he has some attacking talent despite being in the early stages of his career at the top level.
With 20 appearances under his belt for Marseille across all competitions so far this season, the youngster has played in the centre-forward position and on both wings, demonstrating his versatility on the pitch.
Even though it’s still early in his career, Dieng – who is currently valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt – has been likened to former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for the west London club, in terms of his playing style by El Hadji Diouf.
With this in mind, it could be worth Villa securing Dieng’s signature ahead of the other top-flight suitors in order to give Gerrard the chance to potentially unearth the Premier League’s next Drogba in the Midlands.
While Villa have the likes of Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins in their squad who are much more experienced in terms of age, the Senegal international’s versatility could make it easier for Gerrard to find a place for him in the side if he were to follow in Coutinho’s footsteps and move to the Midlands in January.
Moving forward, Villa should definitely try and secure Dieng’s signature this month, as his young age and attacking talents could make him a smart long-term investment for the club and a potentially important figure in the team in the future.
However, with the presence of Cameron Archer on the fringes of their senior squad as a young attacking talent, a move for the Marseille forward could potentially hinder the Villa youngster’s chances of making it into the first team, making this rumour something of a double-edged sword.