Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Aston Villa Are Showing The Most Interest In This Gifted Winger: What Will He Bring To Villa Park?

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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, Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness) has stated that Aston Villa are showing the most interest in Sporting winger Pedro Goncalves. It has been revealed that the Villans are keen on bolstering their squad by recruiting the Portuguese wide player.

Goncalves’ Decent Numbers In Portuguese Football

Goncalves is enjoying an impressive campaign at the Portuguese club as he has put in a run of impressive performances on the left side of their attack. The Chaves-born talent has been involved in 42 matches for his current club this season, netting 18 goals and securing 12 assists across all competitions.

The two-time Portugal international has been a consistent performer in the final third based on his average of 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 2.9 shots, 2.2 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in Liga Portugal. He has even been tidy with his ball distribution after making 81.3% of his attempted passes in the top tier of Portuguese football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Sporting is set to expire in the summer of 2026. Thus, it would be difficult for the Villans to land him in this off-season.

Pedro Goncalves
Sporting Lisbon’s Portuguese midfielder Pedro Goncalves runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second-leg football match between Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 16, 2023. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will Goncalves Bring To Aston Villa?

Goncalves usually works hard for his team off the ball. He is a decent dribbler with the ball and has got the eye to set up some clear-cut chances for his teammates in the final third. The Portuguese sensation can even strike the ball with venom and precision from long range. He is primarily a left-sided wide player but can also play as a right-winger or function as an attacking midfielder if his manager asks him to do so.

We can expect Goncalves to bring more goals and creativity to Unai Emery‘s attack at Aston Villa. He has what it takes to earn a regular starting spot at Villa Park and could even help the West Midlands club challenge for some major trophies in the coming seasons.

At 24, Goncalves’ best years are ahead of him which makes him a decent signing for the Villans to pursue during this summer transfer period. However, only time will tell whether he can make a smooth transition to life in Premier League football.

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