Aston Villa are in with ‘a chance’ to land midfield transfer target Azzedine Ounahi, according to an update from transfer insider Dean Jones.
The Lowdown: Ounahi linked with Villa move
The 22-year-old became more of a household name during the 2022 World Cup, performing heroically for Morocco and helping them reach the semi-finals.
Ounahi has since been linked with a move to Villa during the January transfer window, as Unai Emery looks to bolster his options in the middle of the park.
It looks as though the youngster could leave French side Angers imminently, with numerous clubs eyeing him up, perhaps most prominently Serie A leaders Napoli.
The Latest: Villans in the mix
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jones claimed that Ounahi could see Villa as the best move in England, but it’s impossible to truly know where the player’s future lies:
“There’s just so much competition for him and it’s hard to tell at the moment whether they (Villa) are going to win the race.
“I mean, they’ve probably got as good a chance as anyone in England; it’s just really a case of whether or not he definitely wants to come to the Premier League.
“At the moment, he certainly seems open to it, but I can’t quite put my finger on whether he’s just keeping his options open or whether he’s genuinely interested in a move like Villa.”
The Verdict: Superb midfield target
Ounahi could be exactly what Villa are after in their midfield, with results and performances improving under Emery but more quality still required in that area.
The Moroccan was outstanding at the World Cup, averaging 1.3 tackles per match and being hailed as ‘absolutely incredible’ by Jose Mourinho – a known admirer of Villa’s manager – which highlights his quality and fit for an Emery team.
At 22, he is someone with most of his career ahead of him and would not only bring energy off the ball but quality on it – he ranks in 99th percentile amongst Europe’s top leagues for dribbles by a midfielder, completing 2.54 per 90 minutes.
Ounahi isn’t out of contract at Angers until 2026, so a sizeable bid may be required to prise him away, but he has so much potential that Villa should see his signing as a primary focus. Leeds have been strongly linked, too, but they are threatened by relegation, which could work in NSWE’s favour.
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