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Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard scouts Geoffrey Kondogbia

Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard scouts Geoffrey Kondogbia -Aston Villa News

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard personally scouted Atletico Madrid star Geoffrey Kondogbia against Manchester City on Wednesday, The Birmingham Mail’s Patrick Rowe writes.

The lowdown

Atletico paid £13.5million to sign Kondogbia from Valencia in the autumn of 2020. The defensive midfielder, who’s also played eight games as a centre-back this season, has just over two years to run on his £107,000-per-week contract.

Gerrard appears to be intent on strengthening the protection for his back four, with Villa also said to be interested in Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips ahead of the summer transfer window.

The latest

Rowe tweeted that Gerrard was ‘in attendance’ at the Wanda Metropolitano to run the rule over Kondogbia.

‘Sources confirm [that] AVFC view him as serious target’, and what’s more, the club are ‘very confident of getting the deal done’.

In the attached story, he notes that Tottenham Hotspur ‘are believed to be long-time admirers’, so Villa may be wary of competition.

Kondogbia or Bissouma?

Kondogbia

Kondogbia

Bissouma

Bissouma

The verdict

Would Gerrard have been impressed by what he saw? Well, Kondogbia’s SofaScore rating of 7.2/10 was the third-highest among Atletico’s starting outfielders, bettered only by Stefan Savic (7.7) and Reinildo (7.4).

He won six of the seven ground duels he contested and both of his aerial battles, equating to an overall success rate of 88.9%. He respectably completed 33 of his 42 passes, including three long balls, and also drew three fouls from City.

More encouragingly still, journalist Rik Sharma described him as ‘easily the best player on the pitch’ in an ‘outstanding’ display, and The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan dubbed him ‘fantastic’.

Gerrard may now be even more determined to land the dominant midfield man, and based on the bullish noises from sources, he could be the club’s first summer signing.

In other news, Ashley Preece has shared an update Villa fans will want to see.


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