Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Aston Villa Locked In A Three-Way Battle For This Burnley Defender: Good Option For Gerrard?

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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, talkSPORT mentioned that Aston Villa are locked in a three-way battle for Burnley defender Nathan Collins this summer. It has been claimed that the Villans could face competition in the form of Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in pursuit of the Republic of Ireland international.

Collins’ Decent Run Of Form At Turf Moor Last Season

The 21-year-old had a decent season with the Clarets recently as he managed to catch the eye at times with his defensive performances over the past ten months. Collins featured in 22 matches for the Lancashire outfit in the previous campaign, netting two goals across all competitions.

The Leixlip-born talent was a rock at the back after he averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League. However, he often went long when playing the ball from the back which could be why he only completed 69.2% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).

Aston Villa (Steven Gerrard)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard looks on during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on April 23, 2022 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/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 Collins A Good Option For Aston Villa This Summer?

Collins is a good tackler of the ball and can make a few timely interceptions for his team inside his half. He can scan the danger quickly and doesn’t mind clearing his lines when the opposition are on the front foot. Collins is primarily a central defender but can fill in at right-back if needed.

The four-time Republic of Ireland international can use his powerful 1.93m frame to be a dominant force in the air. However, Collins needs to work on improving his passing accuracy if he wants to be a success story at a club like Aston Villa.

We can expect Collins to add a lot of bite and steel to the Villans‘ backline and increase competition for places within Steven Gerrard‘s match-day squad.

At 21, Collins has got plenty of room for improvement, so the West Midlands club would have to be patient with his progress if they want to get the best out of him in the future. With all things considered, the Burnley youngster will be a great, long-term option for Aston Villa to pursue before the end of this summer transfer window.

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