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Aston Villa Weighing Up A Move For Juventus Midfielder: Right 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 claimed that Aston Villa are weighing up a move for Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. It has been mentioned that the Villans could face competition in the form of West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to recruit the United States international during the January transfer window.

McKennie’s Reserved Role In Italian Football So Far

McKennie has been a sporadic presence in Juve’s first XI which has hampered his progress in Italian football this season. The 23-year-old has made seven appearances for the Italian giants but is still waiting to open his goal-scoring account for this campaign.

The Texas-born sensation has struggled to find consistency with his performances at the centre of the park as he is averaging 0.6 tackles, 0.4 interceptions, 0.6 clearances and 1.4 shots per 90 minutes in Serie A. He also needs to improve his accuracy when distributing possession from midfield, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 75.8% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

McKennie is under contract at the Allianz Stadium until the summer of 2025, so the Villans will have to make a sizable offer if they are to stand a chance of landing him when the transfer window commences at the start of next year.

Aston Villa (Weston McKennie)
REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY – MAY 12: Manuel Locatelli of U.S. Sassuolo Calcio battles for possession with Weston McKennie of Juventus during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Juventus at Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore on May 12, 2021 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Is McKennie The Right Choice For Aston Villa?

McKennie is a moderately-paced midfielder who can make some energetic runs with the ball in the opponent’s half when he is playing regularly and with confidence on the field. He has a high work rate and can often use his strength to overpower the opposition at the centre of the park.

The 25-time United States international is quite aggressive with his tackles but needs to figure out a way to add some end-product to his game if he wants to be a success story at Villa Park in the coming seasons. At 23, McKennie is about to enter the peak years of his playing career soon, so he needs to ensure regular first-team opportunities if he intends to prove his worth at the highest level.

With all things considered, McKennie will be a decent choice for Aston Villa as he will offer some serious competition for John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba at Villa Park over the next few years.

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