New Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is already being linked with a reunion with some of his players from Villarreal, including exciting winger Samuel Chukwueze.
Journalist Dean Jones spoke about Villa’s interest in the 23-year-old in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT.
He said: “It’s being played up a lot and it seems like he is a player that Emery has clearly got on his radar for January.
“Managers always want to bring in somebody that they recognise and a game-changer is, obviously, something they all look for too. It comes hand-in-hand with an appointment like this, that they’ll be looking for someone like Chukwueze.
“He won’t want him to go anywhere else either. If he’s actually going to make a transfer, they want to be at the front of the queue.”
Last season saw the Nigeria international contribute an impressive three goals and three assists in La Liga for Villarreal, averaging a strong 6.78 rating from WhoScored for his performances, so it is easy to see why Emery might want to bring him to the Premier League.
Despite only starting 12 games in the Spanish top flight, coming off the bench in 15 of his 27 appearances, Chukwueze would still average an eye-catching 2.5 dribbles per game, which is more than twice as many as the most of any Villa player this season, with Leon Bailey leading the way with 1.2 per match.
Samuel Eto’o was full of praise for the youngster in 2020, suggesting that “he has the quality and ability” to add more goals to his game.
It is perhaps his dribbling ability that makes Chukwueze so similar to another winger who is lighting up the Premier League, in Arsenal‘s Brazilian sensation Gabriel Martinelli.
The 21-year-old, who is the second-most similar winger to Chukwueze according to FBRef when compared with other players across Europe’s top leagues, has been a star man for Mikel Arteta’s table-toppers this season, contributing five goals and two assists in the Premier League.
The two players have registered very similar numbers with regard to pass completion rate (74.4% vs 75.5%), shot-creating actions per 90 (both 4.34) and shots per 90 (2.51 vs 2.34), which emphasises how dangerous both can be in the final third.
Considering how good the Arsenal wide man has been this season, Emery would surely be foolish to turn down any opportunity to bring his former winger to Villa Park in January.