Aston Villa must land Guendouzi
Aston Villa will not submit to defeat in their January marathon chase for Olympique Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, with deadline day now looming…
What’s the word?
Villa boss Unai Emery has been a revelation following the maiden phase of his tenure, and after initial promise on the pitch, focus has been shifted to the ongoing transfer window, with several exciting deals already tied up.
The midfield is an area yet untouched by the Spaniard manager, with Guendouzi indeed being eyed for a reunion with his former Arsenal head coach, according to initial reports from L’Equipe.
Rumours of a forthcoming bid have yet to subside, and now, speaking to GIVEMESPORT, transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has stoked the fire and revealed that the French Ligue 1 outfit await further action from Emery’s contingent amid the speculation.
He said: “At the moment, from Marseille, they are still waiting for the official bid. They know about the interest; the player is aware of the interest of Unai Emery but still no official bid.”
Having won five of the first seven league matches at the wheel after his initial victory over Manchester United, Emery will be satisfied with the progress made, but in order to strike where he desires, the four-time Europa League winner is indeed bolstering the outfit across several departments.
The “incredible” Guendouzi – as hailed by talent scout Jacek Kulig – has made 82 appearances for Marseille, scoring nine goals and providing 18 assists; comparatively, over 81 outings for Arsenal, he found the back of the net just once and provided five assists.
There is a clear hike in performance, and his development is smoothly progressing, and with Sofascore recording his average rating last season at 7.00 and 6.93 this term, he is evidently emerging as a composed and smooth figure, completing 88% of his passes this year, averaging 1.0 shots per match and 1.2 tackles.
Would Guendouzi be a good signing for Villa?
According to FBref, the 23-year-old ranks well across a spread of metrics, sitting in the top 13% of positional peers for touches in the opposition box and progressive passes received, the top 21% for assists and the top 23% for progressive passes – illustrating a dynamic and varied approach to his play that would only enhance the Villa ranks.
Among his comparable players, Guendouzi – who the aforementioned Kulig also once hailed a “monster” – is likened to Manchester City sensation Ilkay Gundogan, and could emulate the gem’s success at the Etihad Stadium with a transfer.
Since arriving in the Premier League for £21m from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, the German Gundogan has made 281 appearances and scored 51 goals, also providing 35 assists.
Cityzen manager Pep Guardiola once remarked Gundogan is “one of the most intelligent players” he had ever seen, with the 66-cap star indeed an integral component for his outfit, winning four Premier League titles, the FA Cup and four League Cups.
And as per WhoScored, the 32-year-old’s career average 88.6% pass success rate and 1.5 shots per game indicate a semblance to Guendouzi that the Frenchman must harness and mould under Emery’s tutelage.
Time is ticking, and if the Villan hierarchy truly wish to match Emery’s ambitious aspirations then a signing of Guendouzi’s ilk to thread the centre together and provide the bedrock from which a multitude of dimensions could stem then the budding French phenom must be signed, he could be the catalyst for impactful change in the Midlands.