Friday, August 12, 2022

Aston Villa Ready To Offload Star Striker In Favour Of Long-Term Target: Gerrard Must Make The Call

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from The Mirror is believed to be true, Steven Gerrard is plotting a massive shake-up at Aston Villa in the upcoming summer window. He is ready to listen to offers for an array of fringe stars as well as some first-team individuals who have failed so far to live up to expectations. Danny Ings is one such name who might be offered to Brighton & Hove Albion in a potential swap deal with Yves Bissouma.

Gerrard inherited a squad formed during Dean Smith’s tenure as the Villa chief. Although he made a few top-notch signings in January, the frailty across the pitch led to successive defeats in recent weeks. A busy summer awaits in the wake of squad overhaul and the Villans are likely to reignite interest in Bissouma after failing to rope him in winter.

The 25-year-old Mali international began his career back in his homeland. He then joined Lille after a successful trial and spent a couple of seasons before plying his trade at Brighton & Hove Albion for the last four years. The midfielder soon secured a key status in the centre of the pitch and played an immense role in building their top-flight stability.

Yves Bissouma in action against Aston Villa
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: John McGinn of Aston Villa battles for possession with Yves Bissouma of Brighton & Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on November 20, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Why It Would Be A Smart Deal For Aston Villa

With no extension news from the Sussex club, an array of suitors are keeping close tabs on his contract situation. Brighton would aim for a profit over losing him for free a year later and Villa, therefore, are preparing an offer involving Ings who has been below par since securing a £25m summer transfer from Southampton.

The 29-year-old Three Lions international revived his career at St Mary’s after an injury-ravaged spell with Liverpool. He fired in 46 times in 100 appearances donning the Saints colours but has only managed to score five goals in 25 Villa appearances across competitions. Ollie Watkins has been more lethal and flexible high up the pitch and the gaffer should explore the market for a new ‘number 9’ to replace Ings.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa are sweating over Douglas Luiz’s future, who is yet to pen a new deal beyond the summer of 2023. Several approaches for the Brazilian were rejected earlier this year and the club might eventually accept a bid amid fears of a financial setback for one of their promising stars. Bissouma could be a like-for-like alternative in the holding midfield role, also his profound experience in the Premier League should help him settle in instantly as their new ‘number six’.

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