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Update On Aston Villa’s Pursuit Of This Serie A Winger: What Should Be Dean Smith’s Play Here?

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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.

In a recent report, Arena Napoli has provided an update on Aston Villa‘s pursuit of Napoli wide player Jose Callejon, who is set to become a free agent later this summer unless he pens a new contract at Naples. The same source has mentioned that the Villans have already made contact with regards to a potential move for the Spaniard in this off-season. However, it is believed that the player prefers to seal a move back to Spain rather than test himself in the Premier League this late in his playing career (via Arena Napoli).

Callejon’s Outstanding Form At Napoli This Season

The 33-year-old has enjoyed another impressive season at the Stadio San Paolo after putting in several eye-catching performances on the right side of Gennaro Gattuso’s attack. He has registered two goals and nine assists in 32 appearances for Napoli this term across all fronts which sheds light on his creative influence going forward.

The former Real Madrid attacker has averaged 1.2 shots, 2.5 key passes and 1.8 crosses per game in the Serie A and the UEFA Champions League this season. He also boasts a healthy pass completion rate of 87.1% in both those competitions so far (stats via whoscored). Even though Callejon does not have the flair to complete too many dribbles out on the wide areas, yet he has used his experience and wisdom to create his fair share of goal-scoring chances for his current club in the final third.

The Motril-born talent has also secured five senior caps for the Spanish national side but is yet to find the back of the net for his country. At 33, he is edging closer towards the twilight years of his football career but has shown in this campaign that he has still got a lot to offer in the opposition half. Hence, the Spanish playmaker will be a massive coup for the Villans if they can find a way to convince him to move to England this summer.

Josè Callejon player of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio San Paolo on January 06, 2020, in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

What Are The Veteran Winger’s Best Attributes?

Callejon can use his pace and agility to cause all sorts of problems for the opposition defenders. He can get into some promising positions in and around the opponent’s penalty box and has the vision to play some decisive through-balls in the attacking third. The Spaniard tends to work hard for the benefit of his team and can still be a potent goal-threat from long range. However, the Serie A wide player doesn’t score too many goals nowadays which indicates that he might be a player on the decline.

Callejon Fancies A Return To His Homeland: What Should Be Dean Smith’s Play Here?

Dean Smith will do well to recruit an experienced attacker like Callejon during the summer transfer window. But for that to happen, the West Midlands outfit will firstly need to ensure their top-flight lives for another season. The Spanish winger might not fancy a move to English football this summer, but the lure of regular first-team opportunities could be a big selling point which the veteran playmaker might find too hard to turn down.

Hence, the Villa boss should try everything in his power to land the Napoli goal-getter as he will not only add more goals and creativity to the Villans attack but also increase competition for places within their squad. The fact that Callejon could be available for free suggests that it will be a shrewd piece of business for the West Midlands giants before the start of the new season.

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