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Welcome to Overtime’s Winter Transfer Solutions for the 2022 January transfer window. Our club reporters will use the latest statistics to suggest two key players each club should break the bank for. Harry Dodds looks at Aston Villa below.

Goal scoring midfielder

It’s fair to say that Steven Gerrard hasn’t wasted any time in bringing in reinforcements to Villa Park, having secured the services of Phillipe Coutinho and Lucas Digne already.

And although Aston Villa fans will be pleased with their completed business, an extra midfield option on the cheap could help the Villains with their squad depth, especially when you consider the effect that Covid is having on Premier League squads.

Enter Joe Rothwell, who has been in fine form for Blackburn Rovers scoring three and assisting seven from deep-lying midfield.

If we compare Rothwell to someone like John McGinn, the Englishman has a significantly greater shot accuracy (44% to McGinn’s 26%) and take-on success (75% to 57%).

Of course McGinn is performing in the superior league in terms of quality, but the relentless schedule of the Championship could make Rothwell a reliable option, having managed 1960 minutes in 26 games so far this season for Blackburn.

Steven Gerrard has shown interest in Rothwell in the past, when his former side Rangers were linked with the midfielder.

And with his deal expiring in the summer Aston Villa could land him for a cut-price of around two million and bolster their already strong midfield with a more attacking dynamic.

Dominant centre-back

Having lost Axel Tuanzebe this month with Manchester United recalling him and loaning him to Napoli, Aston Villa are slightly light on centre backs.

And with the Covid situation being what it is, Gerrard will be looking to bolster up his defensive options, having only Mings, Konsa and Hause as established first-team centre halves.

Wolfsburg’s John Brooks is another player with five months left on his current deal, and on paper he seems a perfect fit for Gerrard’s side, and valued at around £10 Million they could get him for even less than that given his contract situation.

The USA international trumps both Mings and Konsa (Villa’s current preferred pairing) in long pass accuracy, forward passes completed, per 90 interceptions per 90, clean sheets and goals conceded per 90 tackles made per 90.

His physical dominance and ability to pass out from the back would suit the Premier League down to the ground and would provide some serious competition for Villa’s current defenders.

Steven Gerrard is showing high ambitions for Aston Villa with the signings he has already made and a player with the wealth of experience that Brooks has in a league as demanding as the Bundesliga, would be invaluable to the squad depth and competition.

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July 2024