Aston Villa are looking to bolster Steven Gerrard’s engine room during the summer transfer window…
According to reports (as relayed by the Birmingham Mail), the Midlands outfit are said to be plotting a £20m bid for RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, who is also attracting interest from Premier League rivals Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
It’s not the first time that the Austria international has been linked with a move to Villa Park, with 90min revealing their interest back in May this year.
It remains to be seen what sort of fee the 25-year-old would command. CIES Football Observatory currently value him at £18m.
The Salzburg-born dynamo would be something of a midfield coup for the Villans as he would add plenty of steel and aggression to Gerrard’s squad.
‘You’ll be hard pressed to find a player who harries the opposition quite as intensively as Laimer, who is also a dab hand at shielding the ball, recycling possession and facilitating counter-attacks,’ wrote Bundesliga.com about the Leipzig man.
The Austrian gem grew up idolizing Gerrard, so that’s a partnership that could bear fruit in the Midlands and it’s easy to see why given the praise Laimer has received throughout his career.
International teammate and former West Ham United ace Marko Arnautovic believes he can cover a “crazy” amount of ground on the pitch, whilst his manager Adi Hutter claims he is “incredibly aggressive on the ball, challenges opponents very hard and brings established professionals to the ground.”
FBref compare him favourably, likening his playing style to that of Jude Bellingham, who has been tipped to seal a move to Liverpool in the future, as well as Chelsea gem Conor Gallagher.
The statistical website also highlights the fact that he ranks amongst the top 1% of his positional peers across Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues for pressures, averaging 34.22 per 90.
Elsewhere, Laimer also ranks in the top 5% for assists (0.26 per 90), and the top 14% for dribbles completed (1.24 per 90) and progressive carries (6.36 per 90). These figures only add to the comparisons to Kante.
Also lauded as an “elite presser” by BBC contributor Premier League Panel, it’s evident that Gerrard would be gaining quite an impressive talent to bolster his midfield armoury.
As such, it’s on sporting director Johan Lange to complete a swoop for the Leipzig machine; £20m, if successful, seems quite the steal indeed.
AND in other news, Ashley Preece drops exciting Aston Villa transfer claim…