Pickeau is quoted as saying: “We closed the door. I think it’s pretty clear. Aston Villa made an important offer, we had a chat with Baptiste to explain the importance he had in our project and the fact that he could be allowed to leave next year.
“As a result of our exchange, we thought we would continue the adventure together, without frustration, and the correct opportunity will come.”
L’Equipe had previously reported during the summer that Villa bid had a €7m for the 24-year-old rejected.
Santamaria started 37 Ligue 1 games for Angers last season, coming on as a substitute once, scoring one goal, as per WhoScored.
Throughout the campaign, he averaged 3.1 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 1.4 clearances, as well as completing 0.8 dribbles per game and 81% of the passes he attempted.
While this shows the midfielder can be effective, Villa already have Conor Hourihane, Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba who can play in the holding role – therefore Dean Smith will need to judge how the trio fare in the Premier League before opting to make a move for the Frenchman.
Hourihane got the nod in the first game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur and took hold of his chance, making 3 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 clearances, as well as completing 88% of the passes he attempted.
While it would have initially been frustrating to miss out on Santamaria, Villa have made two useful recruits in Luiz and Nakamba.
It is good to have the 24-year-old as an option if either of the aforementioned names don’t live up to expectations, but Villa should wait to see how players in different positions perform throughout the season before deciding on who to target next summer.
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