Former Prem attacker firmly in Aston Villa sights as Emery transfer plan takes shape

Gerard Deulofeu, Udinese, October 2022 Credit: Alamy
Gerard Deulofeu, Udinese, October 2022 Credit: Alamy

Aston Villa have reportedly enquired about former Premier League attacker Gerard Deulofeu, as Unai Emery wants to add an attacker to his squad.

The Villans will be more than happy if their season continues how it has been going under Emery. After picking up an out-of-sorts side on a bad run, the boss has turned things around quickly.

Of the five Premier League games Emery has been in charge for, Villa have won three and drawn one. Their only league loss since the Spaniard has been at the helm was to Liverpool.

They are now up to 11th in the league, and will want to push even higher.

Adding some new talent into the mix in order to stay fresh seems a great way of doing that. There have been links between Villa and a number of high-profile players since Emery took charge.

That is testament to the type of manager he is – top players would not be expected to join if it didn’t seem he could offer them success.

Some of the biggest names to have been linked with a move to Villa Park include World Cup winner Rodrigo de Paul, Marcus Thuram and Pau Torres.

Whether or not any of those stars would join, or are snares that will even by attempted by Villa, remains to be seen.

Deulofeu transfer part of Emery plan

However, it seems Emery has made it clear the type of player he wants to sign. Birmingham Mail reports that the manager wants to add ‘at least one forward to his attacking ranks’.

Furthermore, they name former Watford forward Deulofeu as a man the club have their eyes on. Indeed, the report suggests Villa have ‘enquired about’ the forward’s situation.

It also adds that Watford star Ismaila Sarr ‘under consideration’. Either of those players are likely to be offered a good deal of playing time if they do join.

Emery is not likely to add a player to his side for the sake of it. He clearly wants an attacker that can make an impact, and sees both of those players in that role.

Villa have scored nine league goals in the five games that Emery has taken charge of. They had scored just 11 times in the 13 games they had played before that.

Indeed, it is clear the manager wants to play attacking football, so the desire to add another forward is one that makes a lot of sense.

Deulofeu a perfect addition for Villa

Deulofeu seems the perfect man to add into the Villa side. While he didn’t have a massive impact when he was at Barcelona, the fact he was ever there shows the quality he has in him.

He has Premier League experience, too. He returned 10 goals and five assists in his best season of league football during his spell with Watford.

Since then, he has been performing well for Udinese in Serie A. The Spaniard was directly involved in 18 goals in 34 league games last season.

He has followed that up with eight goal contributions in 15 Serie A games so far this season. That he is a quality player is one attractive asset, and so is his versatility.

Deulofeu is perfectly capable of playing anywhere across the front line. That is useful for Villa, as he could slot in on either side of starting striker Ollie Watkins.

However, he could also deputise up top for him on occasion, and even rotate with him throughout a game, giving defenders a headache.

If adding Deulofeu was a transfer that could be done, it should be one Villa are trying to push through. As such, they will be hopeful that the result of their initial enquiry is a positive one.

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