Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Aston Villa: Emery could sign his next Di Maria in Arnaut Danjuma

Aston Villa are looking to wash out the deadwood and fortify the ranks now that Unai Emery has assumed the role of head coach at the club, with the Spaniard eyeing some top talent from his former club.

Indeed, last week The Mirror reported that Arnaut Danjuma was one talent the Midlands outfit hold a vested interest in, with sights set on luring him to Villa Park and bolstering the offensive flanks.

Emery knows the player well, having signed him for his previous Spanish outfit, and could use his relationship with the Yellow Submarine and Danjuma to forge a worthy acquisition for the ambitious Claret and Blue.

Valued at €40m (£35m), Danjuma would be a welcome addition to the side having flourished at Villarreal since his move from AFC Bournemouth for £21.3m in August 2021, and could take the Premier League by storm with a second shot at success in England’s top-flight.

Emery’s next Di Maria

Originally a winger, the 25-year-old Danjuma has found success in Spain as his side’s centre-forward, finding a prolific edge to his game and consequently seeing his stock rise.

His market value rose from £22m to £43.8m after a resounding debut season that saw him score 16 goals and serve four assists across 34 appearances, before dropping to £30.7m this term after a slight decline in goal-scoring efficiency.

1 of 11

Who did Villa sign 2014 World Cup enforcer Ron Vlaar from?

Still very much regarded an “exceptional talent” by the likes of EFL pundit Clinton Morrison, the six-cap Netherlands international has snatched five goals from 15 fixtures this term, despite Villarreal scoring just 15 leagues goals so far – the lowest of any team in the top-ten of the Spanish La Liga. 

And a move to Aston, to play under the wing of Emery once again, the manager who gifted the ace the most fruitful spell of his career, might prove to be a very good move indeed for all parties involved.

His exploits could leave him breeding similar success to that of World Cup winner Angel Di Maria, who scored 35 goals and assisted 27 more from 88 outings under the tutelage of the 51-year-old.

While Danjuma offers a more direct approach, it is likely that he would be deployed out wide by and large for Villa, should he join, allowing the likes of Danny Ings or Ollie Watkins to flourish in the centre-forward role, and he would need to utilise his creativity, blending it with his eye for the back of the net, to truly earn his place among the division’s finest talents.

As per Sofascore, in the 2020/21 EFL Championship season with the Cherries, the gem scored 15 goals and provided seven assists in a seasonal show that earned him the move to Spain, with his eight big chances created and 1.5 key passes per match channels that must be tapped into once more, giving him a dynamic sheen not too dissimilar to Di Maria.

Indeed, the Argentine showed those attributes in Qatar just this winter, scoring in the final as well as supplying two key passes per game.

Based on that, it would be quite the signing for Emery’s villains, bringing in a player he knows well and thus transforming his new side in the process.