Sunday, January 29, 2023

Aston Villa Set Their Sights On This Ligue 1 Forward: Should Emery Get Him On Board?

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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 stated that Aston Villa are set their sights on Olympique Lyonnais forward Moussa Dembele. It has been claimed that the Villans are ‘in love’ with the French attacker and are hoping to land him on a free transfer at the end of this season.

Dembele’s Struggles At The Groupama Stadium This Season

Dembele is experiencing a tough campaign in French football as he has struggled to be productive for Lyon in the final third. The Pontoise-born talent has found the back of the net twice and picked up one assist in 15 matches for the French club this season in various competitions.

The 26-year-old has made most of his appearances off the bench which could be why he is only averaging 1.4 shots, 0.1 key passes and 0.3 dribbles per game in Ligue 1 football. However, he has been tidy when distributing the ball in the opponent’s half, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 76.9% in the French top tier (stats via whoscored).

Dembele is under contract at Lyon until the end of this campaign. Therefore, it makes sense for the Villans to try everything they can to land him when he becomes a free agent next summer.

Villa Park
Villa Park

Should Aston Villa Boss Unai Emery Get Dembele On Board Next Summer?

Dembele can engineer space for himself to test the opposition keeper with a few strikes at goal. He can be a prolific presence in the final third when he is getting regular game time on the pitch. The French striker can also create the odd chance for his teammates on the attacking end of the pitch but needs to find a way to be more productive with his offensive contributions up top.

At the moment, Dembele is not playing his best football. However, he will soon be a free agent which makes him a shrewd option for the Villans to pursue next summer.

We can expect Dembele to inject more firepower into Unai Emery‘s first team at Villa Park. He could even help the West Midlands club push for a European place in the Premier League over the next few years. However, it remains to be seen whether he can cope with the physical side and high intensity of English football.

Still, Emery would be wise to get him on board at the end of this campaign as he will undoubtedly increase competition for places within his squad.

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