Villa’s Dutch midfielder Anwar El Ghazi hasn’t featured much as part of the summer transfer window rumours, despite the club recruting and chasing a number of wide players.
Indeed, whilst Dean Smith’s priority had been to acquire a goalscorer (Ollie Watkins), there has also been a huge amount of effort put into improving the squads attacking threat from wide.
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The club have relentlessly pursued Milot Rashica, who despite being left out of Werder Bremem’s recent squads, appears no closer to a conclusive resolution.
The Kosovan may well be digging his heels in for a move to a side with European football, although the 24 year old is also known to be carrying a minor knee complaint.
The latest news is that the Bundesliga side have accepted Villa’s £20.5m offer, but the player’s wage expectations of around £80,000 per week have stalled negotiations.
Villa of course tied up a deal for Bertrand Traore, with the forward joining from Lyon and scoring on his debut against Bristol City (0-3).
As for El Ghazi, his future at Villa Park does remain uncertain.
Although a first team regular, the Dutchman’s stock has fallen after a decidedly underwhelming first Premier League season. Though technically skillful and athletic, El Ghazi’s end product can be somewhat inconsistent.
The fact that the industrious but less cultured Trezeguet became preferred during Villa’s relegation battle underlines the point.
Whilst far from a consistent performer during his loan spell from Lille as Villa sought promotion from The Championship, the 25 year old did seem a logical purchase at a time of radical squad upheaval.
However, with Villa’s recruitment focused upon improving every area of the team that barely survived relegation, El Ghazi can only be considered at risk if deals can be struck for exceptional rising talent.
The Netherlands international, who scored in Villa’s midweek cup win over Bristol City (0-3) has been linked with Greek side Olympiacos.
El Ghazi, represented by the infamous Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute, only completed a €9m switch to Villa in 2019 and until Smith has better alternatives, it’s hard to see the rationale in him going anywhere.
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