Aston Villa are reportedly keeping tabs on Jesse Lingard amid his fruitful loan spell at West Ham.
While it has been suggested that the Hammers will look to sign the England international permanently and his parent club Manchester United will demand £30m to sell him, it does seem as if Dean Smith’s Villa are also in the chase for the midfielder.
Can Lingard replace Barkley?
Villa keep tabs on Lingard
Football Insider have recently reported about Lingard, saying that Villa could join the race for the midfielder only if Manchester United would want to sell him permanently once the loan stint at West Ham ends. The Birmingham-based club are keeping tabs on the 28-year-old, who Smith and the club’s coaches view as a “Villa-type player”.
The report suggests that Villa plan to sign a couple of senior attacking players who can also play in the wide positions. Apart from Lingard, they are also keeping tabs on Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica.
Lingard’s performances for the Hammers and England have been described as “brilliant” by former Premier League ace Trevor Sinclair on talkSPORT, considering that he has scored nine goals while picking up four assists as well.
Lingard could be a Barkley replacement
Lingard’s performances have been excellent of late, and considering that Ross Barkley has now been struggling for game-time, Villa could need an attack-minded player to chip in with goal contributions from midfield.
Barkley’s last start for the club came back in late February and he has only come on from the bench since then, while he has just one goal to his name since the start of November. With Jack Grealish injured, Villa have won only two games since the last week of February, which shows that they might need another consistent goal contributor.
Keeping in mind his numbers for the campaign, Lingard could certainly be the right man for Villa, and it is easy to see why Smith and co would want him.
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