This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa have wrapped up the signing of Ezri Konsa from Brentford.
The Bees centre-back had a £12m buy-out clause in his contract which the Villans decided to utilise in a bid to bring him to the Midlands.
But what could Konsa’s addition mean?
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Back in May, Christian Purslow admitted that it was a goal of Villa’s to build an exciting and young team.
Adding the 21-year-old Konsa to their ranks, therefore, immediately fits that philosophy.
However, by also landing him, it has potentially set the club up for a considerably brighter future.
The 6 foot central defender doesn’t boast any Premier League experience to date, but with England U21 caps to his name and a breakthrough season in the Championship under his belt, he looks extremely well set for a promising career.
Konsa is a classic modern centre-back, possessing the ability to play out from defence after achieving a pass success rate of 87.7% in the second tier last season.
That number wasn’t bettered by anyone to play an extended part in the Villa side in 2018/19 and could be key considering Dean Smith’s men like to pass the ball around.
Yet, there is more to this signing than what he offered last term. Instead, it’ll be about what he could offer in the future that will be most crucial.
The Midlands outfit have already landed a number of promising young players they can develop further. Through the door has arrived the 22-year-old striker Wesley, as well as 23-year-old defenders Kortney Hause and Matt Targett.
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Under Steve Bruce at the beginning of last season, the defence was full of ageing individuals like Tommy Elphick, James Chester and Alan Hutton.
But Smith has developed a new-look backline that regardless of whether they stay in the Premier League, should set themselves up for a brighter future, especially with the undoubted potential of Konsa arriving.
As Villa head into an opening day clash with Tottenham, their entire defence could well be under the age of 26. It’ll be a stark contrast to almost a year ago.