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Amadou Diawara valued at £52.4m, Aston Villa could have got him for £9m

The Napoli man could have headed to Aston Villa in the summer of 2016.

Mathew Nash

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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.

during the TIM Cup match between SSC Napoli and Atalanta BC on January 2, 2018 in Naples, Italy.

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.

during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Manchester City and SSC Napoli at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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.

 

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa must target these three loan signing before the window closes

The Championship outfit are still in the market for new additions before the loan window closes.

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Aston Villa
Photo: Getty Images

Aston Villa had looked to be heading into the 2018/19 campaign under strict financial implications but new ownership at the club has offered a new lease of life.

With new recruits hard to come by during the summer, boss Steve Bruce will now look to make some additions to his squad before the loan window slams shut at the end of the month.

The squad at Bruce’s disposal is still a decent one as far as the Championship goes and the Villains are still expected to be among the frontrunners for a promotion place come the end of the season.

The Boot Room looked at three players who would make quality loan additions between now and the end of the window…

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham

It was Villa talisman Jonathan Kodjia who got the nod to start in attack in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town, but with the Ivory Coast international only recently back from a serious injury, the club might look towards attacking reinforcements.

Abraham appears to be down the pecking order at Chelsea and, although it might take a hefty loan fee to secure his services, his quality at Championship level is there for all to see.

The 20-year-old only netted five goals on loan at Swansea City last season, but his 23 goals on loan at Bristol City during the 2016/17 campaign should excite the Villa faithful, if a loan deal can be struck.

Sheyi Ojo

The Liverpool winger is subject of interest from Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, but Steve Bruce also rates the player highly and could be preparing a move, according to the Daily Star.

The 21-year-old was on loan at Fulham last season and his four goals in 21 appearances helped the Cottages reach the play-off final – where they defeated Aston Villa.

Ojo’s ability to play on either wing would make him a solid addition to the Villa squad and his pace would petrify Championship defenders.

Robert Snodgrass

Although Snodgrass has featured in both of West Ham United’s top-flight games so far this term, there is still a small possibility that he could be loaned out if the right deal comes in.

The Scotsman and Aston Villa were a superb fit for each other last season and the 30-year-old scored eight goals and claimed 13 assists, adhering himself to the Villa faithful in the process.

Snodgrass is a superb player at Championship level and if Bruce can secure another temporary deal for the versatile attacker, the Villains would have every chance of an automatic promotion push.

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa look to have dodged bullet after Toni Leistner’s horror show v West Brom

Aston Villa were keen on the German this summer.

Mathew Nash

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QPR addressed their centre-back shortage this summer by bringing in German defender Toni Leistner. It looked like a bargain. He joined the club on a free transfer from FC Union Berlin, where he had established himself as a top defender with a great reputation in the German lower leagues.

They were, however, not the only club interested in the player this summer. Aston Villa were also said to be keen on signing the player according to the Berliner Kurier.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 14: Toni Leistner of Queens Park Rangers reacts during the Carabao Cup First Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Peterborough United at Loftus Road on August 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

In the end, Leistner headed to London. However, based on Leistner’s performance against Aston Villa’s rivals West Brom this weekend, it seems Steve Bruce has dodged a bullet.

The German was torn apart by the Baggies attacking prowess of Jay Rodriguez, Matty Phillips and Dwight Gayle.

He looked absolutely lost against the West Brom attack as QPR were put to the sword in a stunning 7-1 win from Darren Moore’s side.

Aston Villa looked like they were going to need to bring in centre-backs this season. With the departure of John Terry and Chris Samba you could still argue it is an area where Aston Villa are short.

However, Leistner does not look like he would have been the answer.

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s Jed Steer treatment now looks even more baffling

Aston Villa allowed Jed Steer to join Charlton Athletic on loan this month.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa were held to a 1-1 draw by Ipswich Town yesterday, despite the Tractor Boys being down to 10-men. It was a game to forget for new Aston Villa number one Orjan Nyland.

The Norwegian international came to claim a long-throw midway through the first half. However, he barely got off the ground, spilled the ball, and Trevor Chalobah bagged Ipswich’s equaliser.

It was a big mistake from the £1 million signing from Ingolstadt. It also shed more light on what seems a baffling reshuffle of the goalkeeping department from Aston Villa.

After missing out on Sam Johnstone in the summer, a new recruit was expected. However, Aston Villa also had the bonus of a fit-again Jed Steer in their ranks.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

The 26-year-old is a very talented keeper, whose career has been blighted by injuries. But he has been a Championship regular, playing 38 games on loan at Huddersfield Town in 2015-16.

Aston Villa started the season with the former England youth international between the sticks. However, the arrival of Nyland and Andre Moreira has seen him pushed down the pecking order yet again.

With that in mind, Steer joined Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan. The Addicks, can probably not believe their luck.

Steer is an excellent keeper who had done little to deserve more Aston Villa demotion. Nyland and Moreira are certainly not better options and it looks like Aston Villa have simply unsettled the goalkeeper position, once again, for little reason. No doubt, this is a baffling decision from Steve Bruce.

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