Aston Villa have identified Inaki Williams from Athletic Club as a potential target for the January transfer window to replace another of their attackers, a report has claimed.
Unsurprisingly, Ollie Watkins is Aston Villa’s top scorer so far this season with 11 goals in all competitions. However, next in their chart are midfielder Douglas Luiz and winger Leon Bailey with six each.
Some believe Unai Emery would benefit from having another reliable goalscorer among his ranks, which has turned into speculation that Aston Villa could be in for Williams in January.
Williams has spent his entire career with Athletic Club, for whom he has scored 91 goals from 395 appearances.
Originally developing as a winger, who has become someone who can operate as a centre-forward too, he also has 55 assists to his name for the Bilbao outfit.
According to Football Insider, Emery is now considering Williams as a target for Aston Villa in January.
The theory is that the 29-year-old would be able to make an instant impact, rather than being a player to develop over time.
Remarkably, though, he is still under contract in Bilbao until 2028, which could effectively keep him there for most of what remains of his career.
In other words, signing him in January would require a significant financial effort.
If Aston Villa are prepared to test Athletic’s resolve, then Emery might be able to get his hands on a significant upgrade to another attacker he wants to send away from the club.
Williams tipped to replace Duran
The report reminds that Emery is no longer on good terms with Jhon Duran, who joined Aston Villa in the last January transfer window but remains a player of potential rather than being dependable already.
After failing to see eye to eye with Emery recently, Duran is now set to be loaned away from Villa Park, which would open up a space in the squad for a more reliable attacker to fill.
Williams could fit the bill, either replacing Watkins when the Englishman needs a rest, or playing alongside him in a strike partnership or as a winger.
For now, though, any such plans will have to remain a fantasy for Emery, who might find it difficult to prise his target away from his current club.
One advantage Aston Villa would have over Athletic in terms of appeal is their involvement in European football this season, but it might take more than just that to tempt the Ghana international away from a club where he has become part of the furniture.