This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
It’s hard not to admire Aston Villa’s transfer business so far this summer.
The Brazilian is a powerhouse, winning 2.5 aerial duels per game in last season’s Champions League, but he could become even better for Villa if they sign another forward.
Last weekend, the Villans were reported to be in the running to sign Lille striker Rafael Leao.
In the past, he’s been described as the ‘Portuguese Mbappe’ by French journalist Julien Laurens, and it’s easy to see why. He’s quick, can get in behind and is a natural finisher having scored eight in 16 starts in Ligue 1 last term.
At 20 years of age, he’s very much one for the future but he’s still shown great strides in the senior game, playing 26 domestic matches in 2018/19.
But how could he benefit Wesley?
Well, playing him alongside another striker could be game-changing. After all, he played in a two when he was at Club Brugge, proving to be a menace for opposition defenders.
Therefore, adding someone who has pace alongside him, could mean a devastating new combination for Villa.
Leao is at his best when he’s on the shoulder of the defender, making clever runs in behind after being slipped through by his teammates.
Wesley stands at 6 ft 3 and therefore they could be an ideal partnership given he plays in a different manner. If Leao does indeed arrive, Villa could opt to play more direct if they choose to play with two strikers.
Their new signing from Belgium could come slightly deeper for the ball, using his strength and excellent ability in the air to flick and feed the ball in behind the defence for Leao to run onto.
His all-around play seems to come to the fore when playing alongside another striker, so the potential arrival of Leao could prove extremely beneficial in terms of Wesley’s creative nous.