Aston Villa target Christian Luyindama can outmuscle previous centre-back recruits

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Aston Villa could be in line to add yet another defender to their ranks after reports in Turkey suggested that the club have made a bid for Galatasaray defender Christian Luyindama just days after signing for the Turkish giants permanently.

What’s the word?

Star Gazetesi claim Villa have submitted an £11m offer for Luyindama, a player that manager Dean Smith has been reportedly tracking for quite some time.

The 25-year-old spent time on loan at Galatasaray last season after a deadline day move from Standard Liege in January. That move was then made permanent for £5m only a matter of days ago.

Luyindama has only just returned from his Africa Cup of Nations exploits where he represented the Democratic Republic of the Congo, making three appearances as they crashed out of the competition with defeat to Madagascar in the round of 16 knockout matches.

The move would be rather bizarre considering that Smith has already added four central defenders to his squad this summer with Tyrone Mings (£20m) and Kortney Hause (£3m) both re-joining the club as well as Ezri Konsa (£12m) and Bjorn Engels (£9m) making up the numbers.

The club also have James Chester available so the addition of Luyindama would mean they would have six centre-backs to choose from.

Powerful presence

Even though the potential transfer of Luyindama seems a little far-fetched, it would actually make sense as it could add to an attribute they somewhat lack in defence.

The towering 6 foot 3 defender won 5.2 aerial duels per game for Galatasaray last season in the Super Lig whilst in his two Europa League appearances, he averaged a staggering 6.5 per game.

Those numbers are higher than anyone remaining from last season’s playoff winning squad as well as any of their latest additions.

Hause averaged the highest last term at 4.7 per game but did so only starting ten matches for Villa – next best was James Chester at 3.7 per game.

Considering the imposing stature of Mings, who stands at 6 foot 5, he surprisingly averaged just 3 per match.

New arrivals Bjorn Engels (3.1 per outing) and Ezri Konsa (2 per 90 minutes) were also some way off the mark.

This would suggest that Luyindama would add a considerable amount of strength and power in the air – by quite some margin. Not to mention that he’s rather versatile, being able to operate in defensive midfield too.

That could provide a further short-term solution to another issue that’s currently creeping up on Smith as new £15m defensive midfielder Douglas Luiz is still without a work permit as he looks to still be training in Brazil, something an eagle-eyed supporter spotted on Instagram and then shared on Twitter.

Luyindama also registered 0.8 blocks per game which matched Villa’s highest average player with Mings recording the same number – and he was only behind Chester (6.4) for clearances per game too, averaging 4.7.

It proves that the DR Congo international is more than just a one-trick pony and could actually be of quite some use to Villa on their Premier League return.

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Article title: Aston Villa target Christian Luyindama can outmuscle previous centre-back recruits

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