Aston Villa’s new sporting director Johan Lange could kickstart his tenure with a bang if he manages to clinch Dean Smith a new striker this summer – and there’s one standout candidate…
According to BirminghamLive, the west Midlands outfit are facing stiff competition from a host of Premier League teams for Celtic talisman Odsonne Edouard.
Top-flight newcomers Leeds United are in the running as are Arsenal and Leicester City.
It comes just a week after The Sun’s claims that Villa have inquired about the impressive 22-year-old forward, who is thought to be valued at £40m.
A move for Edouard is rather audacious on Villa’s part having narrowly avoided relegation, but if it can be done, then Lange could provide a massive, massive coup – one that will right all the wrongs of Jesus Garcia Pitarch’s reign at Villa Park.
Suso dithered on a move for Smith’s old goalscorer Neal Maupay and instead opted for a move for Wesley – aside from his injury, he only managed to provide five goals whilst his January replacement Mbwana Samatta hardly set the ground alight with one goal from 14 appearances (via WhoScored).
That’s around £30m wasted on two strikers who aren’t up to the standard of the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Edouard is a stonecold, prolific marksman who has not only done it for Scotland’s biggest club but also on the European stage.
Last campaign, he delivered a whopping 27 goals and 19 assists, which includes a pair of strikes against Lange’s old club, Copenhagen in the Champions League.
It’ll take a lot for the Hoops to sell him though, that if Neil Lennon’s praise is anything to go by: “He’s hugely important (to us), he’s an outstanding footballer, talismanic almost, he’s so talented, so cool.”
Whilst his suitability to play up top on his own at Villa is emphasised by former Celtic star Mark Wilson, who believes Edouard is a “complete all-round striker” who “can play off the shoulder, can hold it up, can drop into the hold and can score free kicks.”
The Villans absolutely must listen to Lange over this deal, it’ll be far from that of Suso’s panic spree last summer, that’s for certain.
AND in other news, Villa the latest club to register interest in prized Bournemouth asset…