Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Bulgarian international Kiril Despodov, per reports in the Sunday Mirror picked up by HITC.
The Sunday Mirror (print edition, page 67, Sunday, January 6, 2019) reported that Villa, along with Championship promotion rivals Middlesbrough and Premier League strugglers Cardiff City, have shown interest in signing the 22-year-old in January.
It is suggested that his signature can be secured for £5million, more than doubling his TransferMarkt valuation of £1.8m.
Should Dean Smith win the race for the 19-cap Bulgarian international, he would be acquiring the services of a promising youngster who can operate on either wing or as a second striker – potentially setting the Villans up for the loss of Tammy Abraham should Chelsea recall the 21-year-old.
So far in his current campaign for CSKA Sofia, the 5 foot 8 forward has scored ten goals and assisted a further 11 in all competitions, including two of each as his side looked to progress through the qualifying stages of the Europa League.
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Although Despodov has shown his goalscoring ability for CSKA Sofia, which could make him a replacement for Abraham, it should not be the Chelsea-loanee he replaces at Villa Park.
Instead, Ahmed El Mohamady should be the one looking over his shoulder for Despodov’s arrival at Bodymoor Heath, with the 31-year-old’s place in the starting XI at risk the most.
In eleven of the 23 Championship affairs the Egyptian has started, Smith or Steve Bruce opted for the former Sunderland and Hull man to start on the right-hand side of midfield. However, in those fixtures he has only registered two goals and two assists – creating as many opportunities for his teammates as he has been able to when fielded as a right-back.
If the Bulgarian were to arrive in Birmingham, his confidence and productivity would fare better against Championship defences than the Egyptian currently at the club, potentially opening greater opportunities to claw back into the promotion picture.
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