Reports!!! Unai Emery could sign a McGinn’s replacement in Aston villa swoop for £26m “breakout” star

Aston Villa qualified for the Europa Conference League on the final day of the campaign with a 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.

Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz both got on the scoresheet to ensure that the Villans finished seventh in the top flight, which means that European football will be coming to Villa Park next season.

Unai Emery must now use that to his advantage by bolstering his squad with new signings in the upcoming summer transfer window to make sure that his team is ready to compete on multiple fronts in 2023/24.

The Villans were linked, in April, with a possible €30m (£26m) swoop to sign Valencia central midfielder Andre Almeida and the gem could be a long-term replacement for current captain John McGinn.

Who is Andre Almeida?

He is a combative 23-year-old maestro who could come in as competition for the spots in the middle of the park with a view to him taking the skipper’s place in the future.

McGinn turns 29 later this year and the Valencia star could come in to put pressure on the Scotland international before eventually taking his starting berth.

In La Liga this season, the youngster has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.96 across 33 appearances and made 2.6 tackles and interceptions per game.

McGinn, meanwhile, averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.99 and made 2.6 tackles and interceptions per match across 34 outings in the Premier League for Villa.

These statistics suggest that there is not much to separate the pair from a defensive perspective as they are both capable of winning the ball back for their side multiple times throughout clashes at the top level.

Almeida, who journalist Zach Lowy once described as one of the Portuguese top-flight’s “breakout” stars, is also able to provide creativity in possession. The former Vitoria maestro has created 1.3 chances per game and registered four assists in the top tier of Spanish football.

He has also racked up 9.71 progressive passes and carries combined per 90 over the last 365 days, which places him in the top 15% of players in his position in the Men’s Big Five Leagues and European competitions, and this means that the ace regularly progresses the ball up the pitch with his passing and dribbling qualities.

Whereas, the Villa captain produced 0.6 key passes per match for Emery’s side in the Premier League and has managed 5.82 progressive carries and passes combined per 90 over the last 365 days, which leaves him in the bottom 50% of players in his position.

This indicates that the Valencia ace would offer more quality on the ball than the Scotsman in terms of being able to open up the opposition’s defence and drive his team forward.

Therefore, Almeida could be a dream replacement for McGinn as the Portuguese dynamo has plenty of years left ahead of him to develop and could grow into being a midfielder who can offer as much as the Villa ace defensively whilst being able to provide more in possession.


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