Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard may already have the perfect replacement for Diego Carlos in his winter signing, Calum Chambers.
After securing a £26m move for the Brazilian colossus early in the summer transfer window, the former Sevilla man was struck with a devastating blow as he suffered a ruptured Achilles on his home debut in the win against Everton last weekend.
Gerrard is now without his star man for the remainder of 2022 and potentially beyond as the time frame is looking to be a minimum of six months.
And time is running out to find a solution in the transfer market as there are less than two weeks to go until deadline day on September 1st. Villa should have other priorities too, such as finding a new striker or central midfielder.
With that in mind, the ex-Rangers boss could turn to Chambers in his time of need.
The 27-year-old joined from Arsenal on a free transfer back in January but has found himself well down the pecking order this campaign, having started nine of the Villans’ closing 17 games last season.
His form during that time saw him graded as Gerrard’s sixth-best performer for the whole season, rating ahead of his central defensive counterparts, including Tyrone Mings (tenth), Kortney Hause (14th) and Ezri Konsa (17th), as per WhoScored.
In the Premier League last season, the versatile Englishman ranked within the top 1% of all centre-backs for blocks (2.88 per 90) and was within the top 10% for clearances (5.93 per 90), via FBref, meaning he clearly has the intelligence to read the game at such a high level and that aggression somewhat matches that of Carlos, who South American football expert Tim Vickery dubbed a “wild man.”
His passing ability will also be a big miss for Villa but Konsa was the only centre-back to register a better passing accuracy than Chambers last season, and despite this, he has become something of a forgotten man around Villa Park.
The Midlands outfit have already been linked to a plethora of names following Carlos’ cruel setback, including Galatasaray defender Victor Nelsson and free-agent Jason Denayer, formerly of Lyon and Celtic.
However, Gerrard and co could save the club millions in the transfer market by trusting Chambers, who Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher once claimed was “like Cafu”, to fill that void.
It’ll be a hard task to replace the £100k-per-week defender dubbed a “beast” by Spanish football expert Domagoj Kostanjšak but in the former Arsenal man, Villa could well have the answer, particularly as he was their top defender in 2021/22.
Therefore, it’s time for the Villa boss to trust the seemingly forgotten 27-year-old heading into Crystal Palace this weekend.