According to a recent report from The Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are eyeing up a move for defender Rico Henry in this month’s transfer window. The 21-year-old currently plays his football at fellow Championship outfit Brentford and has done so since leaving Walsall back in 2014, with the left back’s fine efforts for the Bees unsurprisingly attracting the interest of Villans boss Dean Smith, who worked with Henry at both Brentford and Walsall.
And reports suggest that the Englishman is eyeing up a third reunion with the £900,000-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) this month, and with reports also linking the Midlands giants with a move for Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs, it’s clear that the addition of Henry would be a much better signing than his fellow full back.
Ultimately, Fuchs’ current contract at Leicester is set to expire at the end of the season, with it looking likely that his four-year spell at the King Power Stadium will come to an end at some stage this year, potentially even this month.
And while the 32-year-old has proven to be a hugely adept left back in the Premier League over the years, not least in the season in which the Foxes remarkably won the title, his recent efforts for Claude Puel’s side suggest that he is maybe past his best – his struggles against League Two Newport County last weekend underlines his decline.
Yes, Fuchs would bring a great deal of experience to a Villa side seeking a return to the top-flight this season, but his on the field capabilities simply aren’t what they used to be – and at the age of 32, it doesn’t look like he’ll rediscover his best form anytime soon.
Add in the fact that Villans chief Smith knows how to get the best out of 21-year-old Henry, and there is little doubting that his arrival would be markedly better for the Midlands heavyweights than that of Fuchs.
The left back began his senior career at Walsall before making his way into first team contention under Smith, eventually going on to play 57 times for the Saddlers before the Englishman lured him to Brentford in the summer of 2016.
And while the defender has been plagued by injuries for much of his time at Griffin Park, he was clearly Smith’s number one choice at left back in immediately forcing his way into the 47-year-old’s starting eleven at the Championship club, albeit just 28 appearances have since materialised for the Englishman.
Nonetheless, there is clearly a hugely adept left back in Henry just waiting for the regular football he needs, and under the guidance of Smith at Villa, there’s no reason why he can’t reach those high standards he set at both Walsall and at times during his stint at Brentford – ultimately, Smith knows what it takes to extract the best out of the former England Under-20 international.
As such, while Fuchs’ arrival would bring greater experience to the Villa ranks, the younger more dynamic Henry, who has worked and flourished under Smith before, appears the much shrewder option – he’d be a markedly better signing than that of the Austrian.
Aston Villa fans… what do you think? Let us know!