Aston Villa are reportedly interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso this summer, and the Argentine maestro could prove to be Unai Emery’s own version of Arsenal star Martin Odegaard at Villa Park.
Could Aston Villa sign Lo Celso this summer?
According to Argentine outlet TyC Sports Villa are ready to make a formal offer to sign the 27-year-old, with his future at Spurs uncertain after spending each of the last two seasons on loan with Villarreal in Spain.
The former Real Betis man is well known to Emery having featured under him with both Villarreal and PSG, contributing eight goals and ten assists in 86 appearances when playing for the Spanish manager.
Although Lo Celso’s previous spell in England with Spurs didn’t work out, with just eight goals and six assists in 84 appearances for the club, Emery could well be willing to gamble on him performing better at Villa, after catching the eye in his time in La Liga.
This season has seen the Argentina international manage one goal and two assists in 15 Spanish top-flight appearances, with a solid 6.76 rating from WhoScored for his performances, which is better than all but six in Villa’s squad.
Fabrizio Romano suggested last year that it would take around €20m (£17m) to prise Lo Celso away from Spurs permanently, although the north London club may be unsure about selling to a potential European rival such as Villa.
Could Lo Celso be Villa’s own Odegaard?
The 27-year-old has certainly caught the eye with some of his performances in recent years, with journalist David Cartlidge suggesting that he was a “very special” asset when he was at Betis back in 2018, while Jose Mourinho dubbed him an “amazing player” during his time managing Spurs.
If he were to return to England in a Villa shirt and get regular opportunities under his old manager, then he could perhaps emulate Odegaard, who has been one of the driving forces behind Arsenal’s title bid this season.
According to FBref, the Arsenal captain is the third-most similar player to Lo Celso when compared with other midfielders across Europe’s top leagues.
This season has seen the two register very similar stats with regard to assists per 90 minutes (0.22 vs 0.24) and progressive passes per 90 (8.11 vs 7.86), highlighting their remarkable ability to create chances for teammates.
WhoScored further suggests that both Lo Celso and Odegaard excel at dribbling and supplying through balls, with their progressive nature certainly appealing.
If the Argentine could arrive at Villa and have even half the impact that Odegaard has had at Arsenal, with more than 20 goal contributions to his name this season alone, then Emery will surely have uncovered a gem.
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