As Aston Villa continue in their hunt for a left-back, the Villains have been having their say on who they want to come in. With Neil Taylor the only recognised senior left-back available to Dean Smith, it’s no surprise that he’s been linked with his former Brentford man Rico Henry in the Birmingham Mail, as well as veteran Premier League winner, Christian Fuchs in the Mirror.
Either of the two would be brilliant additions to the current crop of players at Villa Park, however, there’s no way that Smith will sanction moves for both of them, meaning one of the two will have to miss out. With Henry at the start of his career aged 21 and Fuchs at the other end being 32, we’ll be comparing the two left-backs in this battle.
Rico Henry is a name that most fans may not be too aware of. The 21-year-old left-back goes back a long way with Dean Smith. The two of them worked together at both Walsall and Brentford, and it was Smith who made the move to bring the young full-back up from Walsall to Brentford with him when he made the switch, so to see him take the youngster to Villa would come as no surprise.
Henry has struggled for game time this season, with just eight Championship appearances to his name, however, he has scored in those eight games, and that says a lot about the youngster’s ability to make a difference at both ends of the pitch as he’s capable of both attacking and defending from his position on the left-hand side of defence.
TT GRADE: A
Fuchs will go down in Premier League history regardless of how the rest of his career plays out. The Austrian left-back came to Leicester City from Schalke on a free transfer and was part of the Foxes side that famously lifted the Premier League trophy in May 2016, just 12 months after completing a daring great escape that had left them 5000/1 outsiders for the title.
However, the Austrian is ageing and has lost his place at the King Power Stadium to the younger Ben Chilwell. There have been reports that Fuchs wants to go and live in American and play MLS football until he retires, yet he could be set to go out with a bang in English football by helping Aston Villa win promotion in the second half of this season, although that does seem like a long shot.
TT GRADE B+
Whilst both players offer a different way of playing despite occupying the same position, given Fuchs supposed ambitions of retiring in America and Henry’s ability to grow as a player under a manager who already knows him, this one has a clear winner. Rico Henry has to be the man to sign at Villa Park, and he could be the next Villa left-back for ten years if he plays his cards right.
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