Villa continue to be linked with a number of targets and have reinforced a growing reputation for acting early having already secured a number of high-profile signings.
The latest transfer link to appear is that of Quentin Merlin, what is this wizardry? [Sorry..] 🧙
Let’s take a closer look.
QUENTIN MERLINEmbed from Getty Images
Quentin Merlin is a 20 year old left back, currently plying his trade at French side FC Nantes. The full-back, described as a “revelation” last season in Ligue 1, in which the Pays de la Loire side managed a 9th place finish.
Despite being under contract until 2026, it’s understood that Villa have watched him a number of times already.
Villa will be looking to bolster defensive options, particularly by adding strength in depth after under-performing and ending up 14th in the Premier League. By Steven Gerrard’s own admission this lowly league position was ‘unacceptable’. Given the scale of the further player investment, and stated ambitions of the football club, Villa simply must kick-on next term.
Whilst Lucas Digne was added midway through the campaign, Villa are expected to move the limited Matt Targett on after his return from loan with Newcastle. This would free up a spot and provide healthy competition and cover on the left flank.
Merlin is a modern
wizard defender, has the versatility to push further up the pitch and provides an overlap. The 20-year-old featured in 21 Ligue 1 games for FC Nantes last season, averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 1.5 key passes. He also contributed 2 goals and 3 assists.
Whilst it is unclear at this stage exactly what price Nantes would place upon Merlin, his current market valuation sits at approximately €5.5m. However, given the defenders rise in profile and the remaining 4 years on his current deal, Villa and any other interested parties may need to up the stakes to secure his signature.Embed from Getty Images