Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Aston Villa Eyeing A January Move For This Juventus Midfielder: Good Choice For Smith?

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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, The Sun mentioned that Aston Villa are eyeing a January move for Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. It is understood that the American midfield ace was told to find a new club with the Villans keen on getting a deal done for him during the winter transfer window.

McKennie’s Impressive Run Of Form In Italian Football Last Season

The 23-year-old had a decent season at the Allianz Stadium after he put in a series of productive displays for them over the past 12 months. McKennie featured in 46 matches for Juve in the previous campaign, netting six goals and grabbing three assists on all fronts.

The Texas-born talent contributed in little ways at both ends of the pitch as he averaged 1.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 0.9 shots, 0.8 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Serie A campaign. He even took care of the ball well when distributing possession from midfield based on his pass completion rate of 85.4% in league football (stats via whoscored).

McKennie is under contract at the Turin club until the summer of 2025, but he needs to seek a move elsewhere as he is currently not guaranteed regular playing minutes in Italian football. Maybe a switch to Villa Park this winter could appeal to the player as he will be able to test himself in the Premier League and find out whether he is good enough to succeed at the highest level.

Aston Villa eyeing a January move for McKennie who is seen in the picture
Juventus Fc – Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio Torino, Italy. 14 august 2021. Weston McKennie of Juventus Fc during warm up before the pre-season friendly match between Juventus Fc and Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio at Allianz Stadium . Torino Allianz Stadium Italy Copyright: xMarcoxCanonierox

Is McKennie A Good Choice For The Villans?

McKennie has a great work ethic and usually covers a lot of ground at the centre of the park. He has decent pace in his locker and can make some energetic runs with the ball from midfield. The American midfield ace has got a great leap in him and can outjump the opposition to win his fair share of aerial duels for his side. He can use his strength quite well when going in for tackles that help him win possession back in midfield.

McKennie has got a good passing range as well and can create some inviting plays for others around him. However, the lack of first-team football could hamper his progress at Turin in the coming months. However, there is no doubt that the former Bundesliga sensation will enhance the quality of the Villans squad considerably if Dean Smith can successfully get him on board in January.

The 24-time United States international has what it takes to compete with John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba for a place in Smith’s starting XI next year. Furthermore, McKennie can play in any position across the midfield, so a player of his versatility and skillset will be a decent choice for the West Midlands club to pursue during the January transfer period.

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