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Aston Villa: Unai Emery eyeing swoop for Nacho Fernandez

An update has emerged on Aston Villa and their interest in adding a central defender to their squad during the January transfer window…

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Unai Emery has his eye on Real Madrid centre-back Nacho Fernandez after failing to sign him whilst he was the manager of Villarreal.

The report claims that the ex-Arsenal head coach is now looking at the enforcer again as a potential target for Villa heading into his first window in charge of the club.

It is stated that Fernandez is considering his future with Carlo Ancelotti’s team due to his lack of game time on the pitch this season, with his contract due to expire at the end of the campaign.

Upgrade on Ezri Konsa

Emery could land an upgrade on current Villa centre-back Ezri Konsa by swooping for the Spain international, whether that is on a cut-price deal in January or on a free transfer in the summer.

Should Aston Villa sign Nacho Fernandez?





Fernandez, who turns 33 in January, could be an excellent addition to bolster the defensive ranks in the short term, whilst using his experience and quality to help the younger defenders at the club develop their own performances.

In the immediate future, he could be a better option for Emery than Konsa. The former Brentford stopper endured a difficult 2021/22 campaign as he averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.74 across 29 Premier League appearances, completing 86% of his attempted passes and winning 64% of his individual duels.

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Meanwhile, the Spanish ace averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.95 in 28 outings in La Liga for Real Madrid, winning 56% of his battles and completing 93% of his passes.

The £129k-per-week enforcer, who former manager Zinedine Zidane hailed as being “important” whenever he plays, has the quality to perform at a higher standard than the Englishman on a consistent basis, whilst he could also be a more reliable option in possession based on their respective passing statistics.

Fernandez has made 3.24 tackles and interceptions per 90 in Europe’s top five leagues and European competitions over the last 365 days. Whereas Konsa has averaged 1.65 tackles and interceptions per 90 in the same time and this indicates that the Spaniard reads the game better than the current Villa man and is, therefore, more likely to cut out opposition attacks.

Emery must now push for the club to snap up the Real Madrid defender in January as his statistics since the start of last season suggest that he would be a sizeable upgrade on what he currently has to work with on the right side of the defence.