Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Emery ‘insists’ Aston Villa need to sign ‘leading striker’ from La Liga, costing upwards of £26million

Vedat Muriqi, Mallorca, November 2022

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is reportedly insistent that his side need to sign a La Liga man who will be the ‘leading striker’ and could cost more than £26million.

Emery has already had a big impact since he became the manager of the Villans. The former Arsenal boss has won three of the four league games he has taken charge of.

Those victories have not come against poor opponents, either. His first game as Villa boss saw him inspire his side to a first win over Manchester United at Villa Park for 27 years.

He has also guided the Midlanders to wins over Brighton and Tottenham. Villa are currently in 12th, and have some breathing room from 13th-placed Leicester City.

A continuation of his side’s good form will, of course, be what Emery is looking for.

Adding some more talent to the squad will certainly be in his thoughts. If he can shape his squad the way he wants it to look, he can surely get them playing even better football than at present.

On the basis of recent reports, it appears La Liga will be his favoured hunting ground. That would be little surprise, given he has spent the last three years managing there with Villarreal, as well as stints with a couple of other sides before that.

A number of La Liga stars have been tipped to move to Villa to work with Emery.

Emery ‘insists on signing’ Muriqi

One of those stars is Mallorca striker Vedat Muriqi. According to a report in the Spanish media, Emery ‘insists on signing’ the forward.

That report suggests Villa previously bid for the Kosovan. That bid is suggested to have been of €20million (approx £17million), though Mallorca referred to Muriqi’s €38million (approx £34million) release clause.

Emery, though, clearly wants Villa to go back in for the striker. He has reportedly asked Villa to have another crack at signing Muriqi, who he is convinced would be the ‘leading striker’ at the club.

The report suggests an offer ‘in the region of €30million’ (approx £26million) would please Emery. Given Muriqi’s release clause, though, it would not be a surprise if that was turned down, too.

However, Mallorca are not a side that will see offers of that size all too often. Perhaps they would be happy with what Villa are willing to offer.

Muriqi a risky buy

Spending that sort of money on Muriqi might be a risk from Villa. The striker’s best goals tally in a season was 17, but that was in the Turkish Super League.

That is not exactly comparable with the quality of the Premier League. What’s more Muriqi has played just 29 games in La Liga to this point.

In those games, he has scored 13 goals. While that is not a bad tally, the sample size is not enough to show if he could sustain his form for a long period of time.

If Villa are not to sign a top-quality striker, they might as well not sign one at all. Ollie Watkins has notched more than 10 Premier League goals in both of his full seasons at Villa Park to this point.

While he has not been too prolific this season, there is clearly a quality player in there. As such, if Villa are not planning on replacing him with a genuine high-calibre attacker, they should keep faith in him.

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