Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa excitement as Luis Suarez sends glowing reference on next Gerrard transfer target

Ciaran McCarthy
Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Rodrigo Bentancur at 2018 World Cup for Uruguay

Aston Villa are looking to continue their tremendous January window with a move to sign Rodrigo Bentancur – with the Uruguayan seemingly targeted following a glowing reference from Luis Suarez.

Steven Gerrard took over at Villa a couple of months before the January transfer window. As such, he was expected to make the squad his own by bringing in some top-class players.

Villa’s transfer window has exceeded expectation, with Gerrard luring some huge players to the side. The signings of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne have showcased the side’s ambition.

Furthermore, Villa have been linked with the major coup of Suarez. While that deal is not being discussed in this window, Suarez may have a hand in some Villa dealings.

According to the Daily Express, the Uruguayan has given Gerrard a glowing reference regarding his international teammate Bentancur.

A genuine defensive midfielder seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Villa at the moment. While Marvelous Nakamba showed promise early in the season, he sustained a knee injury which will keep him out long term.

Douglas Luiz has filled the role in Nakamba’s absence, and has done a fine job. However, the Brazilian could also be utilised as a number eight.

Bentancur is above the Serie A average for both defensive duels and recoveries per 90 minutes, per Juventus Analysis.

McGinn not for sale says Gerrard despite Dubai holiday with Rashford

Steven Gerrard says John McGinn is not for sale despite Manchester United links and holiday with United players

As such, he seems to be a solid signing to sit ahead of the defence. Indeed, the likes of John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey would be afforded the opportunity to play with more freedom either side of him.

Furthermore, Bentancur’s 45 Uruguay appearances at just 24 years old show a lot of promise and poise.

Bentancur would join McGinn in Villa midfield

John McGinn, Matty Cash, Aston Villa celeb during Premier League game v Crystal Palace

Should Bentancur join Villa, he would join a top group of midfielders at the club. McGinn has been one of the most influential players for Villa this season, and there has been speculation about a move away from the club.

However, Gerrard wants the Scot to remain with Villa for the foreseeable future.

“We are certainly not a club that is looking to sell. Our intention is to keep John McGinn here,” he said.

“I want [McGinn] to remain a Villa player and we can’t be any clearer on that. We love the player, we love the human being and we want to help him.

Losing McGinn would be a big blow for Villa, given the role he has played this season. What’s more, Gerrard’s position is clear, he wants his side to remain together and have a real go at the Premier League.

READ MORE: Another Aston Villa deal confirmed as Steven Gerrard gets his wish