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Aston Villa Were Interested In This Serie A Left-Back: Should Smith Go Back In For Him?

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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 print edition, Corriere dello Sport revealed that Aston Villa were interested in Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey when he was playing for Hearts of Midlothian. However, the Villans ended up missing out on him as he decided to move to Italy to further his career.

Hickey’s Decent Run Of Form In Italian Football

The 19-year-old has made an impressive start to this campaign after producing a couple of eye-catching displays on the left side of Bologna’s backline. Hickey has found the back of the net twice in seven matches for the Italian outfit this season across all fronts.

The Scottish talent has caught the eye by averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 0.9 shots and 1.6 dribbles per game in Serie A. He has even been excellent when distributing possession from the left wing, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 83.1% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

The three-time Scotland Under-17 international has settled into life in Italian football quite well, but a move to the Premier League could appeal to the player if the Villans decide to go back in for him in the not-too-distant future.

Aston Villa (Aaron Hickey)
BOLOGNA, ITALY – AUGUST 22: Aaron Hickey of Bologna FC ( L ) competes the ball with Amadou Coulibaly of US Salernitana ( R ) during the Serie A match between Bologna FC v US Salernitana at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on August 22, 2021 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/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/)

Should The Villans Go Back In For Hickey?

Hickey is a moderately-paced left-back who has a good work rate and can make some driving runs with the ball down the left flank. He is not afraid to get stuck in with a few tackles and can read the danger quickly to earn possession back for his side inside his half.

The Scottish youngster is a tidy passer of the ball as well but needs to work on improving his end-product in the final third despite scoring two important goals for Bologna this season. Even then, the West Midlands outfit should consider going all out to recruit Hickey as he will offer some much-needed competition for Matt Targett and Ashley Young at Villa Park in the coming seasons.

Furthermore, the Bologna prospect has the potential to become one of the best players in his position someday which makes him a good option for Aston Villa. Thus, Dean Smith should think about going back in with an offer for him either in January or at the end of this season as he will be a decent long-term signing for the Midlands club.

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