It seems Nico Yennaris is on his way to China. The Brentford utility man is set to join Beijing Guoan for a £5.5 million fee, according to the Daily Mail. The player qualifies for Chinese nationality through his mother, which makes him an important get for the capital club, who would not have to register him as an overseas player.
It is a great move for the club and the player, but should Aston Villa have been interested?
Dean Smith is a huge fan of Yennaris. The Aston Villa boss worked with him when he was at Griffin Park and often spoke highly of the former Arsenal talent.
On top of that, he would have been perfect for Aston Villa’s current position.
“He has become an integral part of the team, as his appearances last season have shown. He is continuing to improve in all aspects of his game and is becoming an accomplished goal-scoring midfielder in the Championship.”
Whilst best placed in midfield he can play in a number of positions. Yennaris is capable at either full-back position as well as on the wing and would have solved several problems in the Aston Villa squad.
Of course, that fee would undoubtedly have been an issue. It seems a lot for a player that perhaps lacks star factor. However, his versatility makes him an excellent member of any squad and his work-rate would have gone down well with the Aston Villa support.
The Chinese Super League club is probably set to offer him big wages. However, the chance to work with Smith again at one of England’s biggest clubs would undoubtedly have given Yennaris something to think about.
Perhaps Aston Villa should have been throwing their name into the hat.