Monday, October 2, 2023

Aston Villa Have Set Their Sights On This Talented Midfield Ace: What Will He Add To Emery’s Side?

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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 print edition, Record stated that Aston Villa have set their sights on Benfica midfield ace Fredrik Aursnes this summer. It has been mentioned that the Villans are eyeing a move to acquire the services of the Norwegian talent during this summer transfer period.

Aursnes’ Impressive Season In Portuguese Football

Aursnes enjoyed a productive campaign at Benfica recently after he produced a string of impressive displays at the heart of their midfield. The Norway international participated in 42 matches for the Portuguese outfit last season, finding the back of the net three times and earning five assists across various competitions.

The 27-year-old was a positive influence at both ends of the field as he averaged 1.5 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.5 clearances, 0.8 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in Liga Portugal. He even distributed possession relatively well from midfield after making 86.3% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Benfica is set to run out in 2027. Therefore, the Villans will have to launch a sizable move if they want to recruit Aursnes this summer.

Fredrik Aursnes
Benfica’s Norwegian midfielder Fredrik Aursnes (R) dribbles the ball next to Estoril’s Brazilian forward Carlos Eduardo during the Portuguese league football match between SL Benfica and GD Estoril Praia at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on April 23, 2023. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will Aursness Add To Aston Villa Boss Unai Emery’s Team?

Aursness can anchor the midfield with conviction as he can sense the danger quickly to secure possession back for his team in the middle of the park.

The Norwegian talent usually clears his lines when the opposition are on the front foot. He can even engineer a few decent chances for his teammates in the final third.

Someone with Aursness’ skillset would be a welcome addition to Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery’s first XI. He has what it takes to challenge for a regular starting spot at Villa Park in the coming seasons.

At 27, Aursness is about to enter his prime which makes him a good option for the West Midlands club to pursue during this summer transfer period. However, there are some concerns over whether he can adapt to the physical side and high intensity of Premier League football if the Villans manage to devise a way to bring him on board ahead of the new campaign.

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