Aston Villa open to offers for former club record signing

Aston Villa are planning to listen to offers for striker Wesley in the summer transfer window, a report has claimed.

The Brazilian signed for Villa in 2019 for what was at the time a club-record fee of £22million. He has been sidelined for a large portion of his time in the Midlands though due to an ACL injury he suffered on New Years Day 2020.

Prior to that he had made 22 appearances, one for every £1m he cost, and netted six goals.

He is still yet to return to full fitness. But according to Football Insider, Villa will be open to approaches for his signing come the end of the season.

Dean Smith is said to have been unconvinced by the 24-year-old in his first few months in England after he joined from Club Brugge.

He subsequently broke the club’s transfer record again last summer to secure the services of Ollie Watkins.

The former Brentford man has impressed Smith more. He has scored 10 times in the Premier League so far this campaign, sparking England manager Gareth Southgate to give him his first international call-up.

With Watkins firmly positioned as Villa’s first-choice lone striker, it seems Wesley could be surplus to requirements.

Dean Smith praises Ollie Watkins' attitude after England call-up

Dean Smith praises Ollie Watkins' attitude after England call-up

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith praised Ollie Watkins' attitude and 'selfless nature', following the striker's first England call-up.

It remains to be seen whether his departure will be permanent or temporary. Villa will struggle to find a club willing to pay a price near what they spent on the 2018 Belgian Young Footballer of the Year.

It therefore seems that a loan deal could be more viable. This would allow Wesley to gain regular gametime after a long period out, and allow Villa to strengthen their attack in the market.

It has become apparent in recent weeks that this should be a target for them. Since Jack Grealish’s absence through injury began six games ago, they have scored just three goals.

Smith disappointed with attacking stars

This poor run of goalscoring form led manager Smith to be critical of his players for their failure to shine without their captain.

Speaking to Sky Sports after Sunday 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, Smith said: “Mistakes [cost us]. I thought we started well and were the better team in the first 30 minutes.

“We made a mistake and they scored.

“We can’t [just] wait for Jack [Grealish] to come back. The players there, it’s their opportunity. Not too many have taken it.

“We’ve had a good season so far but we’re in a bit of a blip. We won’t get too downhearted. We’ll reflect and work hard. We have a top player coming back for the next game.”

READ MORE: Misfiring Villa target to be sold this summer