This is a strange and exciting time to be an Aston Villa supporter, with the club having already made opportunistic deals to sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona as well as Lucas Digne from Everton. There are now emerging suggestions that the club may be set to make another unexpected signing, that of striker Luis Suarez.Embed from Getty Images
In it’s infancy, the Coutinho rumours drew sneering remarks from a wide section of the press, some respected voices and a number less so, were quick to dismiss the mere suggestion of any deal materialising.
That’s not to say that there weren’t sections of the Villa support who were in disbelief either; we are more used to January windows that peak with the likes of Borja Baston, after-all. Indeed, these very pages thought that the possibility of securing the Brazilian international were remote, on the grounds of the substantial financial commitment if nothing else.
We also now know that Coutinho was swayed heavily by the appeal of playing under current Villa boss Steven Gerrard and a stated desire to be back in England in the Premier League. It must have been quite a Zoom call.
Obviously there is an easy comparison to be made. Suarez played with Gerrard for 3 and a half years at Anfield, so there’s a clear and strong Liverpool connection. For those who have read Gerrard’s autobiography, you also cannot escape the expression of love for Suarez as a footballer. The Uruguay striker is also the most mentioned individual within the entire book. Those same pages, incidentally, also refer to Coutinho as being Gerrard’s “main main”.
Suarez is known to have turned down offers to extend his current contract at Atletico Madrid, with unsubstantiated rumours circulating that Villa have submitted an offer for the La Liga winner. The 34 year old is reported to have rejected moves to Palmeiras, Corinthians, Atlético Mineiro as well as an un-named Middle Eastern outfit, with Villa, under Steven Gerrard, his preferred destination.
It would be naive to suggest that at this juncture that this rumour has anymore foundation to it than the limited rumours and scarce whispers that abound. However, if we have learned anything from the Coutinho signing, is that as the clubs hierarchy now seek to rapidly elevate Villa onto the next level of the project. Perhaps it’s time to expect the unexpected?
We also recently learned from Christian Purslow that in terms of player recruitment, that Villa will move to acquire players in an “opportunistic” way. This is a departure from the previous strategy that seemed centred upon continous improvement across the squad and the nurturing. of academy prospects for first team football. But then, who is to say that this isn’t the final piece of a three pronged approach towards accelerating the club’s quality and profile through high profile, proven player acquisitions?
For now, we can only watch and wait, knowing that we daren’t dismiss transfer rumours quite so readily anymore.
MORE: The Very Latest Aston Villa Transfer News Here!