Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa readying ‘swoop’ for £13million Tottenham target with ‘revamp’ in defence Emery priority

Ilya Zabarnyi, Memphis Depay, Ukraine v Netherlands, June 2021

Aston Villa are reportedly ‘ready to move’ for Tottenham defensive target Ilya Zabarnyi, as Unai Emery is plotting a ‘revamp’ at the back.

Emery has made use of the tools he has been provided with at Aston Villa so far. In seven league games since he took charge, the Villans have won five and only lost one.

The Spaniard has guided them up to 11th place, one point behind Chelsea and Liverpool. If that’s what he can do with an inherited squad who were 17th when former manager Steven Gerrard was sacked, imagine what he can do when he puts his own spin on it.

As yet, Emery has signed two players to his squad: left-back Alex Moreno and striker Jhon Duran.

There has also been talk of a move for Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. Emery worked with the Frenchman at Arsenal, and seems keen to reunite with him.

Reports have suggested that an offer has been made for Guendouzi, and if he’s as keen to reunite with Emery as he is with the midfielder, the move could have legs.

Indeed, it would appear that Emery is keen to bring depth and competition to each position. A full-back and striker have been signed and a midfielder could be on the way.

As such, it’s unsurprising that he’d want to complete the set of outfield areas and sign a centre-back.

Villa plotting last-gasp Zabarnyi move

Indeed, that’s the position of Villa’s next target, who could be the subject of a bid. The Sun reports Villa are considering a ‘last-gasp swoop’ for Dynamo Kiev central defender Ilya Zabarnyi.

It’s suggested the Villans are ‘ready to move’ for the centre-back, who the report says is rated at £13million.

That should be an easy fee for them to pay, and it seems a fair one for a player who has made 24 international appearances for Ukraine.

Zabarnyi has reportedly been on the radar of both Manchester City and Tottenham. However, there’s no sign either of those sides are planning on making a move, which could mean Villa’s pursuit is simple, if they go for it.

Emery keen on defensive ‘revamp’

The reason for the potential snare of Zabarnyi is a defensive ‘revamp’. Emery apparently believes the centre-back has ‘great potential’, so he could be a solid addition to start that revamp off.

In the seven league games the manager has been at the helm for, Villa have conceded seven goals, which is not a massive total.

What’s more, Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings have been the most used players in terms of minutes played across the entire squad this season.

However, there have been questions raised over the quality of both of those players in the past. Whether or not both men play as much when Diego Carlos returns to fitness – which Emery has hinted could be February – remains to be seen.

It would be a surprise if the Brazilian was not shoehorned back into the side, given he was one of the marquee signings in the summer.

Konza and Mings could both be pushed out if another centre-back joined the club. With competition, Emery will be able to tell who his best options at the heart of the defence are.

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