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Aston Villa make first move to sign “unique” £56,000-p/w Luiz replacement

Following Douglas Luiz’s departure to Juventus, Aston Villa have reportedly made their first move to sign a replacement who already knows all about the Premier League.

Aston Villa transfer news

It’s been a hectic few weeks for the Villans, who were left with no choice but to sanction Luiz’s exit to comply with the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules. That sale at least allowed the Midlands club to welcome a number of reinforcements, with Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea arriving in the opposite direction from Juventus to follow Ian Maatsen, Ross Barkley and Lewis Dobbin through the door.

Barkley became the latest fresh face to arrive last week, telling Aston Villa’s official website: “Over the last few years, the club has made huge strides since I was last at the club. As an outsider looking in, it looked fantastic, and to be a part of that is fantastic for me. Playing in the Champions League is a big incentive for me and the club, so I’m looking forward to that.”

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The former Luton Town man could yet get another new partner at the heart of Unai Emery’s side, too. According to II Mattino (via CalcioNapoli24), Aston Villa have made an offer to sign Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, though this has subsequently been rejected by Napoli, with new manager Antonio Conte reportedly keen to keep hold of the former Fulham midfielder.

andre-frank-zambo-anguissa-napoli

It will be interesting to see whether the Villans look to test Napoli’s resolve for a second time given Anguissa’s Premier League experience and proven ability in the Champions League at the base of Napoli’s midfield. If they do manage to strike a deal with the Serie A giants, then they will likely have to pay the Cameroonian’s reported salary of £56k a week, which would not disrupt their current wage bill.

“Unique” Anguissa is a ready-made Luiz replacement

Whilst the likes of Youri Tielemans and John McGinn can help replace Luiz’s work on the ball and his output, Anguissa can step in to fill the void left behind by the Brazilian off the ball at the heart of Emery’s side. These stats could suggest that former Fulham man is a ready-made replacement for Luiz.

League stats 23/24 (via FBref)

Frank Anguissa

Douglas Luiz

Progressive Passes

163

168

Tackles Won

33

38

Interceptions

28

23

Ball Recoveries

174

184

Alongside Barkley, the energy that Anguissa would bring could be crucial for Emery, especially in scenarios when the more technical Tielemans finds himself drifting out of the game. For now, the Napoli star looks untouchable in Italy, but the praise of Tom Underhill, dubbing Anguissa “unique”, suggests that he’d certainly be ready to make his mark on the Premier League if Aston Villa secured a deal.

As Aston Villa venture into the Champions League for the first time under Emery, targets of Anguissa’s calibre are certainly ones to watch this summer.

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