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Valued at £25m, Aston Villa and West Ham could have got Benjamin Pavard in 2016

Aston Villa

Valued at £25m, Aston Villa and West Ham could have got Benjamin Pavard in 2016

The Stuttgart defender is wanted by top Premier League sides.

This week has seen Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard linked with a move to the Premier League. The 21-year-old is reportedly a target for both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Bild reported this week that the Bundesliga side will not be considering any offers below €30 million (£26.5million).

It is a fantastic rise up the ranks from the Frenchman. After coming through the youth set-up in France with Lille he headed to Germany in 2016. The youngster helped Stuttgart win promotion back to the Bundesliga where he has now been showcasing his best form. Such form saw Pavard even earn his first French international call-up.

Stuttgart’s French defender Benjamin Pavard (R) and Dortmund’s forward Maximilian Philipp vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match VfB Stuttgart vs BVB Borussia Dortmund in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on November 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS KIENZLE / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)

For West Ham and Aston Villa, this progression signals a missed opportunity. Back in December 2015 it was reported by Goal that both West Ham and Aston Villa had made an approach to sign Pavard. The then 19-year-old right-back had caught the eye with Lille. Villa were battling relegation at the time and looked to strengthen their leaky defence. West Ham were looking to add fresh faces to their backline.

Neither side managed to get Pavard. In the end he joined Stuttgart for a fee reported to be in the region of €5 million (£4.5 million) by Le Monde.

France’s defender Benjamin Pavard (C) plays the ball during a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, on November 12, 2017, as part of the team’s preparation for the friendly football match against Germany. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Now that fee looks like an absolute bargain for a player who looks destined to be heading to the World Cup with France. Pavard would have been a shrewd addition by either Aston Villa or West Ham – but both sides missed out.

Now it looks as though a fee nearer to £30 million will have to be shelled out if one of the Premier League elite want to get their hands on the 21-year-old.

If only Aston Villa or West Ham had managed to get their man back in 2016.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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