Reports that Aston Villa are planning to sell Ezri Konsa has come as a shock to multiple journalists.
Football Insider broke the news in late February that Villa would be receptive to offers for the centre-back, with Steven Gerrard said to be unconvinced about his ‘reliability and consistency’.
The Villa manager is reportedly determined to bring in Joe Gomez from his former club Liverpool this summer, making that his top priority in the transfer market.
With that in mind, it is possible that Gerrard views the 24-year-old as a direct upgrade on Konsa at Villa Park.
O’Rourke insisted that Konsa is currently Villa’s best option at centre-back and had believed that any signings in that position would be partnered with the defender rather than replacing him.
“It’s a surprising one to me,” he told Give Me Sport. “For me, when I watch Villa, most times, I think Konsa’s their best centre-half. So that will be a shock to me if they were willing to listen to offers.
“We know Villa are in the market for central defensive reinforcements in the summer, but for me, it will be a shock to see Villa willing to let Konsa go.”
Meanwhile, Dean Jones admitted that he would be ‘surprised’ if Villa put the 24-year-old up for sale when the summer transfer window opens.
Speaking to GMS, the journalist said: ‘”I’d be surprised if they were putting him on the market. I can see why they might be open to an offer if it was there, but I’d be surprised if they were actively looking to move him on.”
Does O’Rourke’s claim that Konsa is Villa’s best centre-back stand up to statistical scrutiny?
That said, Konsa boasts a better overall duel success than Mings (64% to 60%), along with a better long passing accuracy than the England international, and he is also dribbled past less frequently than the 28-year-old.
Indeed, many Villa fans might tend to agree with O’Rourke’s assessment. Konsa was voted by fans as the club’s second-best player of 2021, behind only Emiliano Martinez.
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