Friday, August 19, 2022

Aston Villa Among Clubs Hoping To Sign This Gifted Striker: Should Gerrard Snap Him Up?

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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, Foot Mercato revealed that Aston Villa are among clubs hoping to sign Bordeaux striker Sekou Mara this summer. It has been claimed that the Villans are locked in a three-way battle with Newcastle United and Leeds United in the race to land the French forward.

Mara’s Recent Emergence At The Matmut Atlantique

Mara was a sporadic presence in Bordeaux’s squad in the previous campaign but still managed to produce a few productive displays as the focal point of their attack. The talented teenager netted six goals and picked up two assists in 27 matches for the French club last season across all competitions.

The 19-year-old made most of his appearances off the bench which could be why he averaged 1.5 shots, 0.3 key passes and 0.4 dribbles per 90 minutes in Ligue 1. However, he needs to improve his ball distribution in the final third after completing 67.9% of his attempted passes in the French top-flight (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/)

Should Aston Villa Boss Steven Gerrard Snap Mara Up This Summer?

Mara excels at engineering a yard of space for himself to get some shots in on-target. The French whizkid can be a good finisher in the final third when he is playing with confidence up top. However, he has to figure out a way to improve his link-up play on the attacking end of the field.

At 19, Mara is still quite raw and would need time to adjust to life in Premier League football if the Villans manage to win the race for his services. The Frenchman is mainly a centre-forward but can even function as a left-sided wide player if his manager needs him to do so. He has what it takes to serve as an ideal understudy to Ollie Watkins at Villa Park.

Therefore, the Villans’ head coach Steven Gerrard should think about snapping Mara up before the end of this transfer window as he has the potential to become a future star in England. However, the West Midlands club would have to be patient with his progress as he might struggle to earn any meaningful playing time in Gerrard’s starting XI next season.

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