Aston Villa chief Johan Lange could look to a familiar name in a bid to solve Steven Gerrard’s sudden problem in defence…
At the weekend, on his home debut, £26m summer signing Diego Carlos suffered a ruptured Achilles and is now set to miss the next six months of action, leaving the Midlands outfit in need of finding a replacement before deadline day on September 1st.
And Galatasaray centre-back Victor Nelsson, who was at Danish outfit Copenhagen at the same time Lange was, could emerge as a viable target, according to the ever-reliable Ashley Preece of the Birmingham Mail.
“Lange will be busy this week, let’s just say that. I have no doubt Victor Nelsson will be a name that comes up as Lange/SG draw up DC replacements,” he told supporters in an online Q&A this week.
Indeed, losing the former Sevilla colossus on only his second competitive appearance for the club has been a “massive blow” to Gerrard and co, as described by transfer insider Dean Jones, who has also tipped them to now act in the market to GIVEMESPORT.
Given Lange’s past involvement with Nelsson and his bargain mooted fee of £16.8m, the 23-year-old star could be a perfect replacement in the meantime.
Whilst Carlos was hardly injury-prone before he arrived at Villa Park, the Denmark international has proven to be a reliable option for the Super Lig giants, having featured 49 times for them across all competitions last campaign.
That included a run of five clean sheets from eight matches, one of which being at the Nou Camp as the Lions drew 0-0 with FC Barcelona.
It’s perhaps no surprise to have seen him lauded as a “lion” by one of the club’s directors, Resit Omar Kukner. Meanwhile, the 6 foot 1 colossus has also been dubbed a “monster” by talent scout Jacek Kulig after another big display in Europe, holding off Celtic whilst at Copenhagen.
No other Galatasaray player won more aerial duels than the Dane (3.2 per game), whilst he ranked second to his former teammate Marcao in terms of ability on the ball, managing a passing accuracy of 87.5%, as per WhoScored.
These are two key attributes that attracted Villa to Carlos, with the same statistical website listing aerial and passing ability as two of his three biggest strengths – during the 2021/22 LaLiga season, he won an average of 2.4 aerial duels and registered an 87.6% passing accuracy.
Gerrard would have probably liked to bolster other areas of his squad before deadline day on September 1st but this gutting setback to one of his first-choice central defenders may have changed plans.
Nelsson, given the above evidence, his similar skills to Carlos, his rather low price tag and his past with Lange, would surely make the ideal candidate to fill that void for the next six months and potentially, beyond.
AND in other news, Aston Villa now could eye Ligue 1 titan to replace Carlos…