Tottenham Hotspur appear to be in the hunt for Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara. At the weekend Sport Mediaset suggested Tottenham were ready to pay big for the player, matching his eye-watering release clause of €60 million (£52.4 million).
Such a fee would smash the London club’s current transfer record and leave Aston Villa fans wondering what could have been.
Back in the summer of 2016 Roberto Di Matteo wanted to bring Diawara to Villa Park. As reported by the Birmingham Mail the Championship side were keen on the then-18-year-old playing his trade for Bologna. However, at £9 million he was adjudged to be too pricey.
Diawara instead moved to Napoli that summer where he has gone on to establish himself as a regular in the Neapolitan’s midfield.
Aston Villa are surely kicking themselves now. That summer they paid more money than Bologna were asking for the midfielder on Ross McCormack – who is now an outcast at Villa Park.
In the two years that have passed Diawara’s value has increased by a whopping £43.4 million. Aston Villa are now facing the prospect of a play-off campaign to try and win promotion back to the Premier League. If not then once again they will be condemned to another season in the second-tier and it must be asked whether Diawara could have made a tangible difference to their promotion hopes.
Considering the massive transfer tag on Diawara’s head it is fair to say that Aston Villa may have made a mistake by not shelling out the £9 million for the Guinea talent in 2016.
Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing, but having such a commodity now would be brilliant for the Villans both on and off the pitch.
So whilst Tottenham fans will be waiting to see if Daniel Levy sanctions such a massive move Aston Villa fans will wonder if Diawara might have been the missing piece of the promotion puzzle.