Aston Villa are firmly in the centre of a relegation scrap following an underwhelming start to the season, but the January window could offer the club an opportunity to transform their fortunes.
With star player John McGinn ruled out for the foreseeable future, discussion regarding a potential central midfield arrival has been mooted by Sky Sports journalist Rob Dorsett.
McGinn fractured his ankle towards the end of December during the club’s home defeat against Southampton, leaving Dean Smith without arguably the most important player in his squad.
According to Birmingham Live, the Scotland international could well be absent until the end of March and that news has prompted speculation regarding a mid-season acquisition.
According to Dorsett, per Sky Sports, the Villans have identified Premier League title winner Danny Drinkwater as a player they’d like to sign on a temporary basis.
“In midfield, the club are interested in a loan for Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater, whose loan at Burnley is expected to end next month. Sky Sports News has been told Dean Smith sees him as good cover for John McGinn, whose fractured ankle is set to keep him out for three months.”
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The player who bossed Leicester City’s midfield with N’Golo Kante in the 2015/16 season has been absent since he left the club for Chelsea in 2017.
His stint in west London has been incredibly underwhelming and his subsequent failure to break into the side at Burnley has left him in footballing no man’s land.
Naturally, every player deserves a second chance to revive their career but the Burnley man’s involvement in off-field controversy following an ugly nightclub incident earlier this season suggests he could bring unwanted baggage to Villa Park.
And that’s without even considering the fact Drinkwater cannot offer the same level of dynamism that McGinn offers from midfield. The Villa star has averaged 2.3 dribbles per game so far this season, winning 2.2 fouls in the process, but the 29-year-old target has never finished a league season with more than 0.9 dribbles per game.
Finding a player in mid-season who can fill McGinn’s void will be an incredibly challenging if not impossible task, but Drinkwater certainly doesn’t fit the profile of player Villa should be seeking to slot into the midfield.