Sam Allardyce has told TalkSPORT that it is a “no-brainer” for Aston Villa to bring in AS Roma midfielder Steven NZonzi this month, despite already signing Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea.
NZonzi, 31, was signed by Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2009 and the French midfielder immediately established himself at Ewood Park under the former England boss. He has gone on to play for Sevilla, Roma and France.
However, the colossal midfielder’s career is dwindling following his move to Roma. Despite clocking up 39 appearances last season for the Italian giants, Nzonzi was forced out on loan to Galatasaray in the summer, where he has played 15 times.
His future is in doubt and when asked if his former player would be a good signing for Villa, Allardyce urged Dean Smith to land the France international – even though Villa have brought in Premier League winner Drinkwater from Chelsea.
“100%”‘ Allardyce said, when asked if he would back Villa signing Nzonzi. “Get Steven Nzonzi and you will succeed, more so than they are now. He’d be massive for Aston Villa, and he’s experienced now. It’s a no-brainer.
“This lad has got so much experience and so much talent. He could guide Villa out of trouble. His passing to the attacking midfielders and strikers is exceptional. You think [John] McGinn is a good player, wait till you see Nzonzi.”
TBR’s view – Can Villa pull off Nzonzi signing, despite Gala loan?
It is clear that with Galatasaray finishing last in their Champions League group and therefore without European football after Christmas, Villa have instantly become a more attractive proposition for Nzonzi.
The issue is finances. Roma spent a whopping £27million (Goal) to sign Nzonzi from Sevilla in the summer of 2018. Though it is unlikely they will charge such a steep figure now, it might be somewhere between £15million and £20million.
Given he is 31, it would be an expensive risk. But Allardyce’s verdict will be ringing in Villa’s ears.