As Villa approach a crunch set of December fixtures for new boss Steven Gerrard, with Man City this Wednesday evening, the January window isn’t far away either.
The rumour-mill is whirling already, with the latest speculation linking former Ajax midfielder Anwar El Ghazi with a Villa Park exit.
There have already been articles linking most of the Rangers squad with a move to B6, so it’s about time that Liverpool got a mention. Joe Gomez, short of game-time this term, has appeared as a fresh rumour ahead of the transfer window opening.
ANWAR EL GHAZI
Deployed twice off the bench under Gerrard and notching an assist against Crystal Palace (1-2), it’s probably now or never with the club actively pushing an agenda of “continous improvement”.
El Ghazi, who made a loan move from Lille permanent in 2019, contributed regularly towards getting the club out of the Championship. The Dutchman also scored the opener in the playoff final against Derby County at Wembley.
Expensive new recruits at Villa Park have brought increased competition for El Ghazi. However, injuries to the new arrivals has seen the winger make 8 appearances this term.
Whilst there is little in the way of a credibility within a short article out today, one wonders if Villa might entertain offers. El Ghazi has ability and has a likeable technique. However, the 26 year old can be frustratingly inconsistent too in a division that demands quality.
Though the rumour is at best speculative, it follows closely behind a similar piece purporting the idea that Villa are considering moving Bertrand Traore on. Bizarrely, the El Ghazi story appears centred upon former striker Kevin Phillips’ belief that Gerrard should keep Traore and instead move the former Ajax midfielder out instead.
Liverpool’s Joe Gomez is an interesting link, especially given the fact that Villa have stabilised the defence since Gerrard’s arrival.
However, though Konsa and Mings are as good a centre-half pairing as we could wish for, we do lack strength in depth.
Kortney Hause is an able deputy and can also play at left-back. However, it would be remiss to suggest that he looks set to displace either of his counterparts.
Axel Tuanzebe has struggled for form since his loan arrival from Manchester United. Dean Smith’s failed adoption of a new defensive system did little to help a player looking to rehabilitate after injury and having suffered mixed reviews whilst at Old Trafford.
This perhaps gives the Gomez link some merit, as beyond that, we are into academy prospects untested at Premier League level. The story ponders that any deal would see the 24 year old join initially on loan, which would be an arrangement that could hardly be seen to benefit either party greatly.
A further worry is that Gomez suffered a serious knee injury last year and has made just two substitute appearances this season. After 10 months out after sustaining the injury on England duty, the defender now finds himself 4th in the pecking order and short on game-time at Anfield.