Friday, May 20, 2022

Aston Villa Plotting A Move For This Championship Goalkeeper: The Right Fit For The Villans?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by the Daily Mirror (via the Daily Express), Aston Villa are lining up a move to secure the services of Neil Etheridge from Cardiff City despite having already spent £100m during this summer transfer period. The same source has also mentioned that the Villans boss Dean Smith previously made a £9m bid which was declined by the Bluebirds for their Philippines keeper.

Neil Etheridge’s Slow Rise To The Top Of English Football

Etheridge is a Chelsea youth product who joined Fulham at an early age to continue with his development. He came through the youth ranks of Fulham before moving on to play for clubs such as Charlton Athletic, Bristol Rovers, Crewe Alexandria and Oldham Athletic on loan. 

Cardiff City decided to give him a chance when he was a free agent in the summer of 2017. Since his move to the Welsh club, Etheridge has put in some brilliant match-winning displays for the Bluebirds which has raised his stock in English football.

He enjoyed a fantastic season at the Cardiff City Stadium last season despite not being able to save his team from being relegated to the EFL Championship. A change of scenery this summer could be an ideal move for the Philippines international at this stage of his career. The 29-year-old needs to make the most out of his opportunities and so a potential switch to Villa Park might suit him as he will thrive while playing football under the stewardship of Dean Smith.

What Does The Bluebirds Keeper Offer On The Field?

Etheridge built up a reputation for saving penalties for Neil Warnock’s side during the first half of the previous campaign. He is a brilliant shot-stopper in between the sticks and has a good football IQ, which allows him to make the right decisions in the crucial moments of a match. However, he is not the most accurate distributor of the ball and needs to improve his handling skills if he wants to succeed at the highest level.

Will The Phillippines International Be The Right Fit For The Villans?

The acquisition of a keeper of Etheridge’s vast experience will undeniably improve Smith’s goalkeeping options at Villa Park. The West Midlands outfit are in dire need of a reliable goalie so that they can avoid getting themselves involved in a relegation dogfight in the upcoming Premier League campaign.

There is no doubt that Etheridge will be an excellent fit for the Villans as long as he can improve on his performances from the past season.

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