Aston Villa are unlikely to sign a new striker this summer but they could have a solution right under their nose.
The Midlands outfit have been linked to several forwards throughout the off-season, ranging from the likes of Lille talisman Jonathan David to manager Steven Gerrard’s former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez.
It now appears as if neither of those, or anyone in the role for that matter, will arrive at Villa Park.
That is potentially a worrying sign as the Villans struggled for goals in the Premier League last season – only Ollie Watkins (11 goals) hit double figures for the season, with Danny Ings – a £25m addition last summer – finding the net on only seven occasions.
Instead, Gerrard could look to Cameron Archer, who has returned from a successful loan spell last campaign. Back in January, the England U21 international joined Championship outfit Preston North End, where he bagged seven goals, including a strike on debut against West Brom.
He has already caught the eye during pre-season.
“Everybody has seen how talented he is in front of goal,” claimed Ings this week. “He’s come back from a fantastic loan and looks super sharp; great finisher, great lad. He always wants to learn which, for me, is probably the best thing for a young striker.”
It could, therefore, be wise to make him a part of the first team, instead of sending him out on loan again.
Villa are expected to lose promising young gem Carney Chukwuemeka in the coming 12 months after the teenager rejected a new contract, so someone like Archer could easily step up to take his place amongst the senior squad in a bid to help forget about his fellow countryman.
The Walsall-born frontman has earned plenty of praise throughout his short career to date – Villa View host Ty Bracey once dubbed him a “goal machine“, whilst his Lilywhites boss Ryan Lowe claims he has “got an abundance of talent.”
By unleashing Archer, Gerrard will no longer need to look in the transfer market, which appears to be Villa’s stance right now, and that would help save owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens millions of pounds, too.
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