Aston Villa are reportedly eyeing a move for Mallorca striker Vedat Muriqi in a move that could prove to be Unai Emery’s first disaster in charge of the Midlands club.
According to Spanish news outlet Futbol Total, Villa are considering a move for the 28-year-old after his impressive performances in La Liga so far this season.
They claim that Emery’s side would be willing to offer around £20m for his services, although another report from Spain suggests that the Kosovo international has an eye-watering €40m (£35m) release clause in his contract.
Muriqi only joined Mallorca on a permanent deal in the summer after spending the second half of the 2021/22 campaign with The Pirates, when he hit five goals and three assists in just 17 appearances in all competitions.
His form has only improved after signing a contract with the Spanish side, with eight goals and one assist in just 12 appearances so far this season.
It is easy to see why Villa might be tempted to bring Muriqi to the Premier League, especially as he is “utterly dominant in the air,” something which Emery arguably lacks in his current attack.
However, the Kosovan’s woeful form at Lazio, where he managed just two goals in 49 appearances, suggests that he could follow a similar path to current Villa flop Wesley.
The Brazilian joined Villa in a deal worth £22m in 2019 but has managed just six goals in 26 appearances for the club and has spent the last few seasons on loan after an ACL injury derailed his chances of making it in the Premier League.
Muriqi’s 27 Serie A appearances in 2020/21 returned one goal, and the Kosovan forward would average 1.1 shots and 2.1 aerials won per game.
Wesley’s first season with Villa returned five goals, with an average of 1.7 shots and 3.3 aerials won per game, which suggests that the Brazilian may even be an upgrade on the Mallorca man if he were to produce his form at Lazio in the Premier League.
While he has started this season well, this transfer feels like a mistake waiting to happen for NSWE, so they should steer well clear of a potential disaster in Muriqi and look to bring in a different attacker to aid Emery.