Armed with a war chest of money after Jack Grealish’s departure over the summer, Aston Villa still seemingly have plenty left in their cash reserves.
They signed multiple players over the summer in a bid to replace the £100m exit of their former star player but there is still work to be done in order to take the Villans to the next level.
One player who has been on Dean Smith’s radar for a while is Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie.
The midfielder is valued at £22.5m via Transfermarkt and has attracted plenty of suitors in the Premier League.
Villa were keen on McKennie over a month ago and now they are considering another bite of the cherry in January.
That’s according to The Sun who suggests that they could join Tottenham and West Ham in the race for the 23-year-old.
Johan Lange and Christian Purslow’s plan to replace Grealish over the summer was a smart one. They brought in three players; Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings in a bid to replace the England international’s best qualities.
While McKennie is a different sort of threat, there are some underlying attributes that fit the bill.
A gifted box to box midfielder, he is tricky in possession of the ball and knows how to arrive late in the penalty area to score goals.
Whether it’s tackling, intercepting, acting as a supply line for his teammates or finding the net, McKennie has a lot going for him.
He is very much comparable to John McGinn, Villa’s current box to box maestro.
Although Smith doesn’t necessarily need a replacement, the thought of the two lining up alongside each other in central areas is an exciting one. After all, in the words of David Wagner, McKennie is an “outstanding talent.”
Also hailed as a “rock” by Andrea Pirlo, the midfielder is a player blessed with heaps of potential and has all of the required attributes to thrive in the Premier League.
He is strong, delicate in possession and can score goals. It’s easy to see why Lange could strike gold by luring him to the Midlands in January.