McCarthy would hurt Aston Villa’s philosophy if he signs

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

Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is attracting the interest of Aston Villa, according to Sky Sports.

What’s the word?

Villa appear as though they really want to add a goalkeeper to their ranks this summer, despite the heroics of Jed Steer towards the back end of last season.

The stopper was crucial in the penalty shootout against West Brom in the play-offs but that hasn’t stopped them from being interested in a variety of goalkeepers.

They previously had a bid knocked back for Neil Etheridge whilst they’ve also cast their eyes upon Jack Butland and Tom Heaton.

However, the latest ‘keeper they’ve been linked with is 29 year-old McCarthy.

Sky Sports suggest that Southampton are willing to let him go this summer and Villa are being touted as a possible destination.

McCarthy wouldn’t fit Villa

Under Dean Smith, the Villans have become an attractive passing team to watch.

In the Championship last term they were the sixth-best team as far as possession is concerned, averaging 53.4% a game, whilst they finished the season as the third-best passing side, completing 79.8% of their passes as a team.

When Smith arrived, Christian Purslow noted just how devoted Smith was to this style of play, saying: “He [Smith] has dedicated his career to a very recognisable, attractive playing style and he’s committed to that playing style through thick and thin.”

However, if the Villa boss lands McCarthy, that playing style would be hindered hugely, especially considering they like to play from the back.

In the Premier League in 2018/19, the Southampton man ended the term with a truly horrific pass completion rate of 45%, which would likely put their ability to play out from the defence under threat.

It’s clear McCarthy isn’t great with the ball at his feet and as a result, their ability to pass the ball around in tight situations near to their own goal could be restricted.

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If you compare the 29-year-old to Steer, he ended the term with a success rate of 51.6% when it came to his passing. That, of course, is still not very impressive, perhaps why the club is searching for another option – but it shouldn’t be McCarthy.

His Premier League experience and the fact he’s been capped at international level make it a potentially attractive signing, but not when he could actually hinder the way Villa play.

Bearing that in mind, their current goalkeeper would be a far better option if Smith has desires of continuing his passing philosophy in the Premier League.